Drums of War, Drums of Development

Drums of War, Drums of Development. The Formation of a Pacific Ruling Class and Industrial Transformation in East and Southeast Asia, 1945–1980 is a mammoth 700+ page book by Jim Glassman, published by Brill. It is reviewed by JCA’s editor, Kevin Hewison.

Of course, when Hewison declares it the best book he’s read for some years, there’s a conflict of interest to be considered, with Glassman is a member of JCA’s editorial board and a recent co-editor of a special issue on Cold War legacies in East and Southeast Asia with Eva Hansson and Hewison.

The reviewer declares that for all its size and complex theory:

For determined readers, though, the size and theoretical engagement are rewarding, for this is serious scholarship, demonstrating remarkable theoretical knowledge, based in extensive archival research and providing an original realist account of East Asian industrialisation that gives much needed attention to class politics and development. Glassman also has a focus on war, violence and geo-politics, seeing these as underpinning industrialisation; a perspective that challenges other theoretical positions.

As the author expresses it, the era he assesses has important legacies: “The very conditions of developmental success in many of the East and Southeast Asian ‘miracle’ economies and developmental states – as these were fashioned by the Pacific ruling class – contained within themselves many seeds of the authoritarianism still being expressed today” (19). Glassman considers the violent face of capitalism – war and authoritarianism – as integral to the “development” of East and Southeast Asia.

Hewison concludes: “This is an important and authoritative account of economic development and the transnational ruling class in East and Southeast Asia.”

Click here for one of 50 free copies. Hopefully some will remain available.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.