10 books like Toward- Freedom

By Jawaharlal Nehru,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Toward- Freedom. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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A Force So Swift

By Kevin Peraino,

Book cover of A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949

President Truman sends George Marshall to China in December 1945 on a special mission to unify the Communists and Nationalists and create a non-Communist China. Marshall returns to the US in early 1947. The mission has failed. Had he been truly neutral as a broker, could the mission have succeeded?

A Force So Swift

By Kevin Peraino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Force So Swift as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice • Winner of the 2018 Truman Book Award

A gripping narrative of the Truman Administration's response to the fall of Nationalist China and the triumph of Mao Zedong's Communist forces in 1949--an extraordinary political revolution that continues to shape East Asian politics to this day.
 
In the opening months of 1949, U.S. President Harry S. Truman found himself faced with a looming diplomatic catastrophe--"perhaps the greatest that this country has ever suffered," as the journalist Walter Lippmann put it. Throughout the spring and summer, Mao Zedong's Communist armies fanned out across mainland China,…


Viet Nam

By Ben Kiernan,

Book cover of Viet Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present

This work is thorough and informative on the US invasion and defeat but unlike many books on the war also provides extensive discussion of Vietnam’s long history, which dates back more than two millennia. It covers Vietnam’s contentious relations with China and France.

Viet Nam

By Ben Kiernan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Viet Nam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For many Westerners, the name Vietnam evokes images of a bloody televised American war that generated a firestorm of protest and brought conflict into their living rooms. In his sweeping account, Ben Kiernan broadens this vision by narrating the rich history of the peoples who have inhabited the land now known as Viet Nam over the past three thousand years.

Despite the tragedies of the American-Vietnamese conflict, Viet Nam has always been much more than a war. Its long history had been characterized by the frequent rise and fall of different political formations, from ancient chiefdoms to imperial provinces, from…


Pan-Asianism and Japan's War 1931-1945

By Eri Hotta,

Book cover of Pan-Asianism and Japan's War 1931-1945

Important for Japan’s shifting policy in China, but also for the responses in China and in Russia.  Identifies key figures in the military responsible for war planning and their conflicts as well as the role of the emperor. This book emphasizes the twisting path toward Pearl Harbor and how it might have been avoided.

Pan-Asianism and Japan's War 1931-1945

By Eri Hotta,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pan-Asianism and Japan's War 1931-1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The book explores the critical importance of Pan-Asianism in Japanese imperialism. Pan-Asianism was a cultural as well as political ideology that promoted Asian unity and recognition. The focus is on Pan-Asianism as a propeller behind Japan's expansionist policies from the Manchurian Incident until the end of the Pacific War.


The End of the Myth

By Greg Grandin,

Book cover of The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America

Greg Grandin is a historian's historian, a brilliant researcher, a captivating writer. It's honestly hard to pick which of his books to feature here. But since The End of the Myth won the Pultizer Prize, I'll choose it as my favorite. What I loved about this book is that it gives me a new perspective about the history of my own country—about which, frankly, I do not know that much—and the region I have reported on for most of my life, Latin America. He makes connections and does so in a compelling fashion.

The book focuses on the United States and the border, but it sheds much light on how the myth of manifest destiny has shaped the way we think of ourselves and our relationship with our southern neighbors.

The End of the Myth

By Greg Grandin,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The End of the Myth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

A new and eye-opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier, from early westward expansion to Trump’s border wall.

Ever since this nation’s inception, the idea of an open and ever-expanding frontier has been central to American identity. Symbolizing a future of endless promise, it was the foundation of the United States’ belief in itself as an exceptional nation – democratic, individualistic, forward-looking. Today, though, America hasa new symbol: the border wall.

In The End of the Myth, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of U.S. history…


In the Land of the Blue Poppies

By Frank Kingdon Ward,

Book cover of In the Land of the Blue Poppies: The Collected Plant-Hunting Writings of Frank Kingdon Ward

Once upon a time, “plant explorers,” intrepid botanists (mainly from the UK) fanned out over the lesser-known world looking for interesting plants to bring into wider appreciation and cultivation. Frank Kingdon Ward (1885-1958) is best known for introducing the breathtakingly beautiful Tibetan blue poppy. There’s an internet meme featuring his grizzled face with the caption “Make sure you want it enough,” a clear reference to what he went through to bring his prizes back. (Imagine: you spot the fabulous blue poppy in some remote place, but, you have to find a way to return in a few months to get seeds.) This book, edited by Thomas Christopher and with a preface by Jamaica Kincaid (both super-credentialed horticulturists and authors), features highly readable, awe-inspiring selections from the great man’s journals.

In the Land of the Blue Poppies

By Frank Kingdon Ward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Land of the Blue Poppies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Modern Library Paperback Original

During the first years of the twentieth century, the British plant collector and explorer Frank Kingdon Ward went on twenty-four impossibly daring expeditions throughout Tibet, China, and Southeast Asia, in search of rare and elusive species of plants. He was responsible for the discovery of numerous varieties previously unknown in Europe and America, including the legendary Tibetan blue poppy, and the introduction of their seeds into the world’s gardens. Kingdon Ward’s accounts capture all the romance of his wildly adventurous expeditions, whether he was swinging across a bottomless gorge on a cable of twisted bamboo…


The Mongol Empire

By Timothy May,

Book cover of The Mongol Empire

In this book Timothy May provides an impressive overview of the history of the Mongol Empire. Covering its history from the time of Chinggis Khan through to its decline and including discussion on matters ranging from the Mongols’ warcraft through to their internal politics and economic activities, The Mongol Empire offers a deeply authoritative and accessible overview of research in this field. This is the book I would recommend to anyone seeking a scholarly introduction to this subject. 

The Mongol Empire

By Timothy May,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mongol Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book explores the rise and establishment of the Mongol Empire under Chinggis Khan, as well as its expansion and evolution under his successors. It also examines the successor states (Ilkhanate, Chaghatayid Khanate, the Jochid Ulus (Golden Horde), and the Yuan Empire) from the dissolution of the empire in 1260 to the end of each state.


Instead of Education

By John Holt,

Book cover of Instead of Education: Ways to Help People Do Things Better

Holt writes that the best learning experience in his life wasn’t a “learning experience” at all, but serving on a submarine during World War 2. Success – and sheer survival – manifestly hinged on quickly bringing even the rawest and supposedly least educable of the crew to function at the highest level. In such purposive settings, everything about “teaching and learning” is different. School as we know it, Holt argues, is hypocrisy-inducing and soul-crushing, plus stupendously inefficient, but you can take this angry book as also a provocation to rethink pedagogy in a radical but still constructive way... even in, yes, something like school.

Instead of Education

By John Holt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Instead of Education as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Instead of Education is Holt's most direct and radical challenge to the educational status quo and a clarion call to parents to save their children from schools of all kinds. In this breakthrough work Holt lays out the foundation for un-schooling as the vital path to self-directed learning and a creative life.


Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

By Paul Theroux,

Book cover of Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

When I retired from my 45-year career as an international filmmaker and multimedia producer, I decided to concentrate on creative nonfiction writing, using my experiences and memories as a basis for the many stories I wanted to tell. I began to read and listen to travel memoirs to learn how to write in a captivating and entertaining way. Paul Theroux is one of the top writers in this genre and Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is one of his best. He doesn’t make it to Borneo, but reaches many familiar places I traveled to during my years in Southeast Asia. I love his style, full of descriptions of those old haunts, and his dialog with the people he encounters on his journey.

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

By Paul Theroux,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ghost Train to the Eastern Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul Theroux's Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is a journey from London to Asia by train.

Winner of the Stanford Dolman Lifetime Contribution to Travel Writing Award 2020

Thirty years ago Paul Theroux left London and travelled across Asia and back again by train. His account of the journey - The Great Railway Bazaar - was a landmark book and made his name as the foremost travel writer of his generation. Now Theroux makes the trip all over again. Through Eastern Europe, India and Asia to discover the changes that have swept the continents, and also to learn what…


Meetings with Remarkable Men

By G. I. Gurdjieff,

Book cover of Meetings with Remarkable Men: All and Everything, 2nd Series

I read this book when I was a teenager, and it taught me two very important things: that Enlightenment is possible—even for a Westernerand that living Spiritual Masters exist out in the world who can help to guide you there. This helped me gather the courage to leave home and travel throughout Asia in search of my true teacher, who I eventually found in Japan. My own Remarkable Man.

Meetings with Remarkable Men

By G. I. Gurdjieff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Meetings with Remarkable Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Armenian-Greek spiritual teacher, G.I. Gurdjieff's autobiographical account of his youth and early travels has become something of a legend since it was first published in 1963. A compulsive read in the tradition of adventure narratives, but suffused with Gurdjieff's unique perspective on life, it is organized around portraits of remarkable men and women who aided Gurdjieff's search for hidden knowledge or accompanied him on his journeys in remote parts of the Near East and Central Asia. A classic work, suffused with a haunting sense of what it means to live fully - with conscience, with purpose and with heart.


Orientalism

By Edward W. Said,

Book cover of Orientalism

A classic of classics in understanding the west representation of the East. It made me make sense of why in many instances the West's media portrayal of Arabs and Muslims culturally, socially, and politically has been a repetitive list of stereotypical images, as if these societies and its people are static and not capable of change. Many scholars have argued over the years that Orientalism as a thesis has become redundant. I have argued and still do that it is still alive and kicking and has been manifesting itself in the daily news coverage year after year. 

Orientalism

By Edward W. Said,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Orientalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The seminal work that has redefined our understanding of colonialism and empire, with a preface by the author

'Stimulating, elegant and pugnacious' Observer
'Magisterial' Terry Eagleton

In this highly-acclaimed work, Edward Said surveys the history and nature of Western attitudes towards the East, considering orientalism as a powerful European ideological creation - a way for writers, philosophers and colonial administrators to deal with the 'otherness' of eastern culture, customs and beliefs. He traces this view through the writings of Homer, Nerval and Flaubert, Disraeli and Kipling, whose imaginative depictions have greatly contributed to the West's romantic and exotic picture of…


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