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The Great Hill Stations of Asia

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The Great Hill Stations of Asia Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For the European and later the American colonial soldier, the civil administrator and his clerk, the merchant, the missionary, and the families who followed them east of Suez, daily life was less a matter of advancing the glory of God or empire than a battle for survival against sunstroke, dysentery, cholera, malaria, and a host of other unnamed deadly fevers as well as little-examined, vague indispositions that in hindsight would probably be diagnosed as clinical symptoms of depression. Later, medical scholars coined a phrase for it: “tropical fatigue.” Pity John Ouchterlony. By the time they brought him to the healing hills, it was too late. On April 29, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel Ouchterlony of the Royal Madras Engineers died of “jungle fever brought on by exposure while in the execution of his duty,” says a memorial plaque—one of many—at St. Stephens Church in Ootacumund, a British colonial town in the Nilgiri Hills of southern India. Others were luckier. They got to Ooty in time and survived the perilous East, at least for another season, by rising above its pestilential lower reaches. On litters, in chairs, on ponies, by foot if they were able, Europeans in Asia nearly two centuries ago began climbing into the hills in search health, relaxation, and sometimes their sanity.They called the refuges they created—little European towns carved from rocky mountainsides or nestled in the meadows of high plateaus—”hill stations.” Colonialism came and went, but the hill stations remain. They are no longer European, but most have not lost their unique appeal. After all, the plains still fry in the sun and the cities of Asia have only grown larger, noisier, and more polluted. New generations of Asians are rediscovering hill stations and turning them into tourist resorts with luxury hotels and golf courses. Hill stations still cling to their history, and the story they tell reveals a lot about how colonial life was lived. They also have a future, if environmental damage and overpopulation do not destroy the forested hills and mountains that gave them their spectacular settings and pleasant climates.Hill stations began to appear, albeit at different times in different places, when the era of initial exploration and conquest was waning, wives and families arrived in substantial numbers, and life had become a bit more routine. By then, colonial societies could take stock of their longer-term needs and, regrettably, look for ways to build walls around themselves to shut out native populations. Through the age of European mercantile empire building and colonialism that began with the turn of the sixteenth century, hill stations were largely a nineteenth-century phenomenon. Most were established between 1820 and 1885, though the Dutch were early with Bogor in Indonesia and the French came later with Dalat in Vietnam and the Americans with Baguio in the Philippines. The British themselves built a second generation of hill stations after World War I in southeast Asia.In early 1997, Barbara Crossette set off on a journey of several months to see Asia anew through its great hill stations, moving from mountain to mountain from Pakistan, across India, to Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. A year earlier, Crossette had made a trip to the highlands of Indonesian Sumatra, the land of the Minangkabau and Batak people, where the idea of this kind of journey came together.

Synopsis:

Combining armchair travel with political history and social commentary, Barbara Crossette offers the first look across Asia to tell the story of hill stations from their colonial origins to the present.

Synopsis:

In 1997, journalist Barbara Crossette set off on a journey of several months to visit Asia's hill stations, the small European-built hill towns where colonials went to escape the tropical climate and where modern-day Asians now build luxury resorts. Through Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, she went in search of the stories the hill stations offer about the region's past and present. Just as the spaces colonial rulers carved out for themselves tell us much about the colonizers' experience of their locale, so the fate of these hilly refuges in the postcolonial era provide a window on contemporary culture and society. Weaving together scholarly research, interviews, and her own keen observations, Crossette uses the hill stations as a lens through which to explore the complex history and legacy of colonialism.

About the Author

Barbara Crossette is currently The New York Times United Nations bureau chief and author of So Close to Heaven.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780465014880
Author:
Crossette, Barbara
Publisher:
Basic Books (AZ)
Location:
New York
Subject:
Description and travel
Subject:
Asia - General
Subject:
Asia
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Far East
Subject:
Resorts
Subject:
Mountain resorts
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
no. 69
Publication Date:
19990631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
268
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 5.4 oz

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Related Subjects

» Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
» History and Social Science » Asia » General
» History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
» History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
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» Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » General
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» Travel » Travel Writing » Asia
» Travel » Travel Writing » General

The Great Hill Stations of Asia New Trade Paper
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Product details 268 pages Basic Books - English 9780465014880 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Combining armchair travel with political history and social commentary, Barbara Crossette offers the first look across Asia to tell the story of hill stations from their colonial origins to the present.
"Synopsis" by , In 1997, journalist Barbara Crossette set off on a journey of several months to visit Asia's hill stations, the small European-built hill towns where colonials went to escape the tropical climate and where modern-day Asians now build luxury resorts. Through Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, she went in search of the stories the hill stations offer about the region's past and present. Just as the spaces colonial rulers carved out for themselves tell us much about the colonizers' experience of their locale, so the fate of these hilly refuges in the postcolonial era provide a window on contemporary culture and society. Weaving together scholarly research, interviews, and her own keen observations, Crossette uses the hill stations as a lens through which to explore the complex history and legacy of colonialism.
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