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Singapore gained independence in 1965, a city-state in a world of nation-states. Yet its long and complex history reaches much farther back. Blending modernity and tradition, ideologies and ethnicities, a peculiar set of factors make Singapore what it is today. In this thematic study of the island nation, Michael D. Barr proposes a new approach to understand this development. From the pre-colonial period through to the modern day, he traces the idea, the politics, and the geography of Singapore over five centuries of rich history. In doing so, he rejects the official narrative of the so-called "Singapore Story."
Drawing on in-depth archival work and oral histories, Singapore: A Modern History is a work both for students of the country's history and politics, but also for any reader seeking to engage with this enigmatic and vastly successful nation.