On March 7, 1942, in the midst of WWII, a British merchant ship fled Burma (now Myanmar) only minutes ahead of the invading Japanese army. This vessel, the last ship from Rangoon, acts as the starting point for an engrossing account of escape, suspense, hope and courage. In this period largely undocumented by American literature, fear and desperation invade the lives of British Merchant seamen as violence threatens their welfare, their ships, and their livelihoods. Last Ship from Rangoon recounts a harrowing tale of 132 seamen’s arduous efforts to return to England; imprisoned by the Senegalese, these men must flee from an inescapable French prison and hack their way through dense jungle toward the English colony of Gambia. Based upon the story of a retired British Merchant Marine seaman, whom he met whilst traveling in South East Asia, John Van Wyck Gould has crafted a tale of adventure, courage, hardship, and survival.
The “absorbing . . . charming and persuasive” story of Nobel Peace Prize–winner Aung San Suu Kyi, the world’s best-known prisoner of conscience (Publishers Weekly). As one senior UN official put it, Burma is a country where “just to turn your head can mean imprisonment or death.” Aung San Suu Kyi is considered to be Burma’s best hope for freedom. Because of her unwavering commitment to nonviolent resistance to the country’s brutal military junta, she has been under house arrest since 1989. Elected prime minister, she was prevented from taking office. Despite failing health, vilification at the hands of the Burmese media, and actual imprisonment in one of the world’s most appalling jails, Suu Kyi has persevered in a campaign of nonviolent protest as unflagging as those of Gandhi, King, and Mandela. Perfect Hostage, the most thorough biography of Suu Kyi to date, tells both the story of the Burmese people and the story of an ordinary person who became a hero. “She’s my hero.” —Bono “In physical stature she is petite and elegant, but in moral stature she is a giant.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize recipient “It is time for all respectable members of the international community to . . . take active measures to secure the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese people.” —Sen. John McCain “A marvel . . . Wintle mingles sober history and gossipy chat.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Wintle writes with a snarling wit, firm grasp of Burma’s horrors, and penetrating respect for this tenacious and composed prisoner of conscience, detailing her genius for connecting with people, the threats against her life, and her devotion to peace.” —Booklist (starred review)
“An absorbing exploration of one man’s life” —as an orphan, refugee, shopkeeper, and grandfather—through a century of upheaval in India (Library Journal). Born in colonial India into a despised caste of former tree climbers, Ayya lost his mother as a child and came of age in a small town in lowland Burma. Forced to flee at the outbreak of World War II, he made a treacherous 1,700-mile journey by foot, boat, bullock cart, and rail back to southern India. Becoming a successful fruit merchant, Ayya educated and eventually settled many of his descendants in the United States. Luck, nerve, subterfuge, and sorrow all have their place along the precarious route of his advancement. Emerging out of tales told to his American grandson, Ayya’s Accounts embodies a simple faith—that the story of a place as large and complex as modern India can be told through the life of a single individual. “At once a mesmerizing memoir of an ordinary man’s life and an anthropologist’s revealing examination of the astounding changes experienced by persons and families . . . impossible to put down.” —South Asia “No one deemed a superhero by the movies has had a more interesting life with such extraordinary sweep.” —Scott Simon, NPR Weekend Edition
This book traces the progress of an Émigré family of Iranian ancestry from ancient times of the royal family of Nadir Shah of Iran via Ashraf Afshar, through many generations, against the larger historical backdrop of the societies and cultures in which they lived. Jacob J Ross (FRSL), a reader from Literary Consultancy comments, "This book has clearly been an enormous undertaking, covering as it does much of the seminal events that shaped the twentieth century as well as the origins of the State of Iran (from 1835 onwards) and the emergence of this country as a major focus in the global, geopolitical and ideological debates of the present century. On top of all this, he has layered his own personal history. ... overall, he has succeeded in writing a book that is often times insightful, at times funny and for me, quite elucidating." The author, Shahrukh, shows how significant happenings around the world affected and wrapped each decade of his life. The 19th century was described as an age of progress. With the help of the telegraph, railway, and steamships, boosting trade, the Europeans imperial ambitions reach its heights of development. Cultural, artistic and political changes emerged that fundamentally modify the way they thought about the world and their place in it. Shahrukh, born in the 1930s in Burma, grew up in a close-knit conservative community, living a life of luxury in mansion houses with servants and nannies in attendance. Then an abrupt convulsion ruptures the serenity of their scene; the Second World War erupts, and seemingly the world implodes around them. Having lost everything they leave Rangoon, fleeing from village to village in pursuit of preserving life, like Nomads, not in search for new pastures, but trying to escape from the British and Japanese bombs, local bandits, and succumbing to disease and death in the jungles of Burma. Many survive by selling their precious heirlooms and jewellery. After the wreckage of war in Burma, they arrive in Calcutta in December of 1945. Shahrukh is eight years old. The authors exploration of the political dynamics that led to the partition of India and Pakistan gives a deeper understanding, not only the 'creation' of Pakistan but the religious and ideological ideas that underpinned its formation. It therefore helps give a better appreciation of the present situation prevailing in that country. In India, Shahrukh and family witness the gruesome communal riots and killings between the Hindus and Muslims. The Great Calcutta Killing, started on 16 August 1946, a day of widespread riot and manslaughter in the city. The force and ferocity of this fury in Calcutta leads to the massacre of about three thousand people within twenty-four hours, with bodies strewn uncounted in the bamboo thickets; vultures fed off them. Starvation threatened to add to the crisis faced by hospitals. At Grammar School he is taught Latin but not Urdu, the local language. He is taught Shakespeare, which he masters, but not Allama Iqbal, the national poet. Their heroes are Nelson and western movie stars. He narrates about the aim of school in trying to produce replicas of English public schoolboys. After completing his Senior Cambridge Exams, Shahrukh gets admitted to D. J. Science College, part of Karachi University. For his Bachelor degree he takes Maths and Physics as his major subjects. In his final year at the college, the Principal appoints Shahrukh as President of the College Student Council. He takes this enterprise very seriously and is determined to make it succeed. After much debate and discussion, a budget is drawn up and finalised; it is printed and displayed on the main notice board. Each programme of the year proceeds with clockwork precision. This is accomplished for the first time in the history of the college; Shahrukh exclaims, "It was worth all the tears, sweat and toil". The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States play
Alan Bristow, founder of Bristow Helicopters, died on April 26, 2009, seven days after completing his autobiography. He was a truly remarkable man; his full-page obituary was published in The Times and The Daily Telegraph. As a merchant navy officer cadet during the war Bristow survived two sinkings, played a part in the evacuation of Rangoon and was credited with shooting down two Stukas in North Africa. He joined the Fleet Air Arm and trained as one of the first British helicopter pilots, he was the first man to land a helicopter on a battleship and became Westlands first helicopter test pilot. Sacked for knocking out the sales manager, he flew in France, Holland, Algeria, Senegal and elsewhere, narrowly escaping many helicopter crashes before winning the Croix de Guerre evacuating wounded French soldiers in Indochina. For four years he flew for Aristotle Onassiss pirate whaling fleet in Antarctica before joining Douglas Bader and providing support services to oil drillers in the Persian Gulf. Out of that grew Bristow Helicopters Ltd, the largest helicopter company in the world outside AmericaBristows circle included the great helicopter pioneers such as Igor Sikorsky and Stan Hiller, test pilots like Harold Penrose and Bill Waterton, Sheiks and Shahs and political leaders, business giants like Lord Cayzer and Freddie Laker with whom he tossed a coin for 67,000 in 1969 and the author James Clavell, a lifelong friend whose book 'Whirlwind' was a fictionalized account of Bristows overnight evacuation of his people and helicopters from revolutionary Iran. Bristow represented Great Britain at four in hand carriage driving with the Duke of Edinburgh and precipitated the Westland Affair when he made a takeover bid which eventually led to the resignation of Michael Heseltine and Leon Brittain, and almost to the downfall of Margaret Thatcher.
Short stories of Anglo-Burmese and others who bore the brunt of abandonment during WWII, as the British, unprepared for the onslaught of the Japanese abandoned them in WWII Burma. Facing unimaginable hardship, they faced the woes of war, many of them dying without any help.
Covers the air war in Burma from the Royal Air Force point of view. Gives a detailed account of the RAF's efforts from the defeats of 1942 to final victory in 1945. Covers the pairing of land and air forces and comments upon Wingate's efforts to further success against the Japanese in this war front.
Are you planning to study medicine? Or, are you presently a student of medicine or are you practicing or teaching it? Then, this book will be expedient as it takes a lighthearted look into the life and times of the author through and out of medical school. This book offers a peep into the life and times of a medical practitioner in general and an Ophthalmologist in particular, along with and associated incidents that happened in the fifty years of this doctor?s career. Even nonmedical people interested in day-to-day medical issues will find this book interesting, with several incidents that they may be able to relate to, since medical jargon has been used to the minimum.
Bill Tyrer is a master storyteller, sharing the magic of his journeys working on troop ships, luxury liners, meeting celebrities and some very special everyday people in this personal memoir. He takes you through his heritage and his youth before, during and after the bombings in WWII Liverpool, England. In this riveting read Bill brings you along with him on fantastic voyages including the exquisite ""Queen Elizabeth"". He meets many celebrities such as Liberace, boxer Rocky Marciano, classical conductor Arturo Toscanini, famous Welsh actor Richard Burton, Formula One race car driver Sterling Moss and actress Rita Hayworth travelling with the Aga Khan. You are even with Bill as he serves tea to Winston Churchill! You'll hear stories about murder on the high seas, loyalty and love; all as true as a man's memory can be. A wonderful read.