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God's Dust: A Modern Asian Journey
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God's Dust: A Modern Asian Journey

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Investigating the question of what happens to Asian cultures when traditions of the village break down and are replaced by the complexities of the modern world, the author's travels took him from Burma to Japan, via Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea.
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published December 31st 1989 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 1989)
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Buruma spends as much time discussing the historical background of each country, as he does recording his (now somewhat dated) impressions. A bit dry in places, but still good for getting an idea of the respective cultures.
Patrick McCoy
God's Dust by Ian Buruma: again, one of my favorite writers of Asian culture, he is thorough and has an ability to see into a culture and characterized it accurately and fairly. In this book, written in 1989, he goes on a tour of Asia (Burma, Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea) and gives an analysis of the politics and culture of each county. I found the sections on Burma, Taiwan, and Malaysia the most informative since I knew the least about these countri ...more
Julian Friend
Compelling overviews of SE Asian countries. At times a little dry in the countries where the author had less personal experience. It was written in the late eighties, so it gives us a freeze-frame of trends at the time.
Although there is a travel memoir interwoven in the book, the real story is more of an essay. A well-written and thoughtful essay.
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Ian Buruma is a British-Dutch writer and academic, much of whose work focuses on the culture of Asia, particularly that of 20th-century Japan, where he lived and worked for many years.
More about Ian Buruma...
Year Zero: A History of 1945 Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies Inventing Japan: 1853-1964 The China Lover

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