Book Review: Why Taiwan Matters by Shelley Rigger

By Bradley Winterton


When US president-elect Donald Trump accepted a phone call from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), one of the Taiwan experts the New York Times contacted for comment was Shelley Rigger, a professor of East Asian politics at Davidson College in North Carolina. The author of several books on Taiwan, she received particular praise for her overview of Taiwanese history, politics and culture in Why Taiwan Matters. Now that this little classic has been re-issued in an updated edition, it’s time to assess just why it remains rather special to some people.

I have some criticisms with regard to omissions, but by and large I found this book a pleasure to read. It’s crammed with information, pleasantly informal, judicious and notably even-handed. A book with such a wide remit is likely to fall short here and there, but on the whole I found Rigger’s account credible and astute, and hence recommendable to anyone looking for a concise and reliable account of this island’s very remarkable story. Read more

Source: Taipei Times