Review: Greening Asia by Nirmal Kishnani

Even five years ago, green buildings in Asia were an exotic concept. Now, one major real estate developer after another has converted to the green creed. Green building organizations have sprung up in most countries, trailing a gaggle of certifications in their wake. The U.S. Green Building Council’s platinum and gold ratings, or their local equivalents, are increasingly needed by building owners eager to attract the best tenants.

Nirmal Kishnani’s focus on buildings, therefore, is well-deserved…

This review was originally published in the Asian Review of Books. Can be accessed at www.asianreviewofbooks.com/?ID=1417

Review: China’s Urban Billion by Tom Miller

In a region full of big challenges, one of the weightiest is the on-going task of moving 500 million Chinese from farms to cities. This story, that of the world’s largest human migration, is told vividly by Tom Miller in a pithy book, one that is part of Zed Books’ “Asian Arguments” series. It is a book that is at once sympathetic to the task faced by Chinese policy makers and yet infused with a journalist’s solid reportorial skills and natural scepticism, qualities that give the book a gritty, grounded credibility of a sort that is missing from most of what has been written on this subject.

This review was originally published in the Asian Review of Books. Can be accessed at http://www.asianreviewofbooks.com/?ID=140

Review: Green Innovation in China by Joanna I. Lewis

There is no greater challenge for humanity in the coming century than slowing the pace of man-made climate change. And there is no country whose actions are more important than China in determining whether or not we will meet this challenge.

Joanna Lewis’s important book on the development of China’s wind power industry is an incisive look at a key part of China’s desire to transform itself into a high-tech green economy while meeting its responsibilities as the world’s largest energy user and second-largest economy.

This review was originally published in the Asian Review of Books. Can be accessed at www.asianreviewofbooks.com/?ID=1393

Review: Honor in the Dust by Gregg Jones

The compelling story that Gregg Jones tells of America’s initial military involvement in the Pacific is one that has relevance today: a story of a military campaign that was portrayed by its backers as a war of liberation but dragged the American people through a deep and divisive debate about the country’s imperial ambitions…

This review was originally published in the Asian Review of Books. Can be accessed at www.asianreviewofbooks.com/?ID=1375

Review: Where China Meets India by Thant Myint-U

The political changes in Myanmar this year have been extraordinary. Nobel prize-winner and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, free after nearly 25 years of off-again, on-again house arrest, won a parliamentary seat and is being talked about as a possible president in 2015. Censorship has been abolished. Dissidents who fought the government have been allowed back. After five wasted decades, change is coming to a country of some 60 million people, a change symbolized with the path-breaking November 2012 visit of U.S. President Barack Obama.

Although Thant Myint-U’s latest book was written before this remarkable political opening, the latest work by one of the most perceptive chroniclers of contemporary Myanmar is unique in its ability to situate the country in a regional context…

This review was originally published in the Asian Review of Books. Can be accessed at www.asianreviewofbooks.com/?ID=1371

Wealthy and Healthy: Why Asia Needs Good Cities

It is the twenty-first century’s version of the Asian Dilemma: how do we provide places for the Asian half of the world’s population to live, to work, to play as economies boom and air, water and living space are ever-scarcer?

This essay was originally published in the Asian Review of Books. Can be accessed at www.asianreviewofbooks.com/?ID=1189