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A Comprehensive History of Tea from Prehistoric Times to the Present Day
The Tale of Tea is the saga of globalisation. Tea gave birth to paper money, the Opium Wars and Hong Kong, triggered the Anglo-Dutch wars and the American war of independence, shaped the economies and military history of Táng and Sòng China and moulded Chinese art and culture. Whilst black tea dominates the global market today, such tea is a recent invention. No tea plantations existed in the world’s largest black tea producing countries, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka, when the Dutch and the English went to war about tea in the 17th century. This book replaces popular myths about tea with recondite knowledge on the hidden origins and detailed history of today’s globalised beverage in its many modern guises.
In late 1997 Indonesia's economy went into a tail-spin, culminating in social and political upheavals that saw Soeharto's resignation in May 1998, and resulting in a succession of presidents as Indonesia entered a period of democratization. These events are well known, even to casual observers, but Kees van Dijk has penned a magnificent account of Indonesia between 1997 and 2000 that fleshes out the story in rich detail and analysis. The volume itself closes as the soon to be ousted President Abdurrahman Wahid is facing two major corruption, collusion, and nepotism (korupsi, kolusi, and nepotisme or KKN) scandals and the political forces are arraying against him. The author has clearly sifted through a mountain of materials, principally Indonesian language newspaper sources, to bring about an excellent chronicle. At 621 pages, this is quite a large book—and one can only marvel at the way in which a vast array of sources have been combined. Despite its size and detail it is a thoroughly absorbing read—especially if one is already familiar with the events and characters that set the stage for a political and social transformation. The main substantive chapters of the book are supplemented by a large number of helpful appendices (showing political parties, cabinet line-ups, military leaders, a glossary, and so on).