Taiwan: The Search for Identity
2008. Taipei: SMC Publishing, 118 pp.
Jerome Keating has finished another in his series of books on Taiwan's history and political culture. With Taiwan: The Search for Identity, Keating offers a work done in his usual hard-hitting style, but with the added advantage of text in both English and Chinese. Most of the material in this book is either taken from, or similar to, material on Keating's website.
The slim (118 pages) volume's theme is the construction of identity in Taiwan's history, and the recent changes in electoral politics. The style is brisk and informal, offering articles with titles like "Finding Identity and Purpose Amidst Bamboozle." In addition to history, several articles deal with the problems stemming from the legislative election defeat of the DPP, as well as the then-upcoming Presidential election.
One advantage of this work is its bilingual format, useful not just to local readers, but also to those from China, a population that Taiwan needs to begin talking to if it is ever to achieve its independence. The book may also serve as a useful introduction for English readers unfamiliar with Taiwan's modern political economy.