2015 marks 50 years of independence for this tiny island nation.

I know the basic contours of Singapore history—I’ve read much of Lee Kwan Yew’s oeuvre, and way too many books about Sir Stamford Raffles, the Fall of Singapore, and the Japanese Occupation (often by Western writers), as well as books about South Asian history and women’s history in Singapore.

So, I’ve challenged myself to read twelve more Singapore history books this Jubilee year to fill in the gaps in my knowledge, and blog about them. I polled friends (and raided their libraries); here is my list:

  • January: The Scripting of A National History: Singapore and Its Pasts by Lysa Hong
  • February: Beyond the Blue Gate: Recollections of a Political Prisoner by Teo Soh Lung
  • March: The 1963 Operation Coldstore In Singapore by Poh Soo Kai
  • April: The Fajar Generation: The University Socialist Club and the Politics of Postwar Malaya and Singapore by Poh Soo Kai, Tan Jing Quee, and Koh Kay Yew
  • May: Squatters into Citizens: The 1961 Bukit Ho Swee Fire and the Making of Modern Singapore by Loh Kah Seng
  • June: Constructing Singapore: Elitism, Ethnicity and the Nation-Building Project by Michael D. Barr and Ziatko Skrbis
  • July: A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism by Phyllis Ghim-Lian Chew
  • August: Singapore’s Little India: Past, Present and Future by Sharon Siddique and Nirmala Shotam
  • September: Nature Contained: Environmental Histories of Singapore by Timothy Barnard
  • October: Singapore and The Silk Road of the Sea: 1300-1800 by John N. Miksic
  • November: Singapore Stories: Language, Class, and the Chinese of Singapore: 1945-2000 by Ernest Koh
  • December: Paths Not Taken: Political Pluralism in Post-War Singapore by by Michael D. Barr and Carl A. Trocki

I’ll be tagging all my social media posts with #SG50ReadingChallenge, so you can follow along. And feel free to join in, if you haven’t read these titles! I’ll be posting reviews of each book on/around the last day of each month.

3 responses

  1. WOW … I just arrived in Singapore. What would be your recommendation for a book to start with?