Nanyang: Essays on Heritage


Ooi Kee Beng, Executive Director, Penang Institute, 2018.

"Anyone fortunate enough to hear Wang Gungwu, one of the East Asian region’s most prominent historian give a lecture, always hopes that the words spoken on that occasion will be published one day for later generations to enjoy. To an extent, this longing is fulfilled in this succinct little volume. Here, he puts together seven lectures that he gave in various contexts and venues between 2004 and 2016. For good measure, two essays are included, one of which is on Singapore’s economic tsar, Dr Goh Keng Swee, specially written for this collection. 

Professor Wang, based in Singapore over the last two decades, spent considerable time in his life in cities such as Ipoh, Nanjing, London, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne and Hong Kong. This reflects his mobile academic life. It also reveals his interests in the East Asian region’s history and in how countries there are affected by their past.

This volume discusses Southeast Asia and Chinese heritage, provides deep and personal insights on the beginnings of Malaysia and Singapore, and examines China’s and the region’s post-colonial history. As a testament to Professor Wang’s ability to excite his fans, although the book offers much juicy food for thought, it leaves them still hungry for more."

About the Publication

This volume is a book of reflections and encounters about the region that the Chinese knew as Nanyang. The essays in it look back at the years of uncertainty after the end of World War II and explore the period largely through images of mixed heritages in Malaysia and Singapore. They also look at the trends towards social and political divisiveness following the years of decolonization in Southeast Asia. Never far in the background is the struggle to build new nations during four decades of an ideological Cold War and the Chinese determination to move from near-collapse in the 1940s and out of the traumatic changes of the Maoist revolution to become the powerhouse that it now is.


PDF e-book files for this publication are available as detailed below.

Nanyang: Essays on Heritage [Whole Publication], by Wang Gungwu, author 24.00 USD
Preliminary pages Download
1. Introduction Download
2. The Call for Malaysia 5.00 USD
3. Malaya: Platform for Nation Building 5.00 USD
4. Remembering Goh Keng Swee 5.00 USD
5. Before Nation: Chinese Peranakan 5.00 USD
6. Singapore, Loyalty and Identity 5.00 USD
7. Heritage with History 5.00 USD
8. Reflections on Divisive Modernity 5.00 USD
9. End of Empire 5.00 USD
10. Family and Friends: China South and Southeast 5.00 USD
Index Download
About the Author Download

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