Lim Chong Yah: An Autobiography – Life Journey of a Singaporean Professor
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On the eve of the Great War, they had the world at – and watching – their feet. If God is in the details, they were divine. Vernon and Irene Castle were the world’s first true celebrity couple. He was the son of a pub landlord from Norfolk, she, his wife and dance partner, a New York doctor’s daughter. He was tall and slim, as poised as an elegant evening out, a template for the Hollywood idols who would follow. In a staid age, she was a glorious, modern beauty, with her haired cropped into a ‘shock’, a disdain for crippling corsets, a love of a martini and a good time. The Castles taught the world to dance to an altogether different tune, bringing social dancing out of stuffy ballrooms and into dance halls, night clubs and restaurants. For the first time, they made dancing in public respectable – and fun. Convention was discarded, fashion and style established. As a result, the couple lived and tangoed through torrential showers of stardust. When, in 1939, Hollywood filmed their story, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers played, and danced, the title roles. Together, they beat the censors and made their vibrant dancing acceptable for all. In the fashionable quarters of New York they opened a dance school and night clubs to which Society flocked. They broke the rules by touring with black musicians, and led the way forward to the Charleston-galloping Gatsby Generation. They enlightened and enchanted from London to Paris to New York, spreading a breathless joy, as though their music had one note, and their dances one step, too many. Launching one racy dance craze after another, they taught the world to dance – and often dress – the way we do today. Adored and acclaimed, they were stars long before the celebrity constellations grew crowded. Yet the whirlwind story of perhaps the most influential dance team ever is also one of tragedy. Their timing, so perfect in everything else, saw Vernon Castle, at the height of their fame, return to England to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps; he saw action as a pilot on the Western Front, winning the Croix de Guerre, while his wife made special appearances to support the Allied war effort. And then, in February1918, he was killed in a flying accident in Texas, while training American pilots for war. Irene received a last note from him: ‘When you receive this letter I shall be gone out of your sweet life. You may be sure that I died with your sweet name on my lips – be brave and don’t cry, my angel.’ She and many others did cry, for as far as the world was concerned Vernon and Irene Castle could have danced all night, and for ever.
About the Author
Douglas Thompson is the acclaimed author of more than twenty books, many of them bestselling biographies, including working with Christine Keeler to write her own revealing memoir. A biographer, broadcaster and international journalist, he is a regular contributor to major newspapers and magazines worldwide. Douglas is a director of one of Britain’s major literary festivals, and divides his time between a medieval Suffolk village and California, where he was based as a Fleet Street correspondent and columnist for more than twenty years. His most recent work for John Blake Publishing is Stephen Ward: Scapegoat, a study of the rakish charmer at the centre of the Profumo Scandal.
“For the life of a diplomat is often a variation of routine boredom and exhilarating crises.”
Maurice Baker is an academic and one of Singapore’s pioneer diplomats. Growing up in colonial–governed Malaya and Singapore, his profound love for great literature works inspired him to obtain an honors in English from King’s college, London in 1948 despite the cruelties faced during and after the Second World War. Baker’s humble beginnings and political consciousness earned him the friendship and respect of many diplomats during his missions to India in 1967, Malaysia in 1969, Philippines in 1977 and back to Malaysia in 1980 before retiring from his career as a diplomat in 1988. Between his diplomatic missions, Baker returned to Singapore in 1972 to head the Department of English at the University of Singapore for five years.
This is Baker’s story of how he came to be The Accidental Diplomat. With occasional poems and a sense of humor, he candidly recounts the colourful romances of his life to his enriching encounters of diplomatic relations. His portrayals of admiration for great leaders and men paint a vivid picture of the qualities that guided his beliefs, proving that he was by no means an “Accidental Diplomat” in the eyes of others.
On August 28, 1963, something quite amazing occurred. On that day, one of the largest political rallies ever took place in support of civil and economic rights of African-Americans, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, gave one of the most stirring speeches in history when he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. This book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of this address and includes narrative and more than 100 stunning photos from the march in Birmingham, Alabama, through the March on Washington. The photographs come from Bob Adelman, one of the most notable photographers of this movement. His work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, and the Associated Press. It is authored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization in which Dr. King served as the first president.
About the Author
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is an African-American civil rights organization. SCLC was closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The SCLC had a large role in the American Civil Rights Movement. SCLC is a now a nation-wide organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries. Bob Adelman (Miami, FL) is an American photographer known for his images of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Raised on Long Island, New York, he earned his B.A. at Rutgers University, Law Studies from Harvard University, and M.A. in Philosophy from Columbia University. Adelman used his background as a graduate student in Applied Aesthetics from Columbia University to forge close ties with leading figures of art and literature, including Andy Warhol and Samuel Beckett. After studying photography for several years under the tutelage of famed Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch, Adelman volunteered as a photographer for the Congress of Racial Equality in the early 1960s, a position that granted him access to Civil Rights Movement’s key leaders, including Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Baldwin. Adelman currently resides in Miami Beach. His work is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery.
Busty babe Holly Hagan has had viewers of Geordie Shore glued to their screens ever since her arrival in the first series. Fed up with her dead end job at a call centre, and with dreams of being a star one day, Holly applied for a new reality TV show. She couldn’t know it was to catapult her into fame and make her one of the most recognisable faces on British TV. Fame and fortune, though, came at a price – the road from the call centre to the celebrity circuit has been far from smooth. For the first time, Holly is lifting the lid on the perks and perils she’s faced ever since her topless hot tub antics shocked the nation. Holly owes her success to a very simple change of look, which involved both a new bottle of red hair dye and a new found confidence. Ever since then, audiences have been in stitches as they watch Holly (and her flame-red hair) flirt her way around Newcastle’s famed ‘Diamond Strip’ and places further afield such as Magaluf, Cancun and Australia. In this action-packed, revealing, funny and sometimes heart-breaking memoir, Holly recounts her life in and out of the limelight with brutal honesty – from her childhood days when she was badly bullied, her shocking take on sex and dating, her liaison with bad-boy musician Frankie Cocozza and what really goes on behind-the-scenes on the UK’s biggest reality TV show. Filled with genuinely touching stories and inside accounts of what they don’t show you on TV, Holly has laid herself bare, first physically and now emotionally. If you think you know all there is to know about Holly from Geordie Shore, think again.
About the Author
Holly Hagan is best known for her role on the reality TV show “Geordie Shore.” Prior to this, Holly was an administrative officer at HM Revenue Tax Office, and a loan adviser at Santander.