Tock Tock Birds
A Spider in the Web of International Terrorism
By Tim Hatton
Distributed By Coronet Books
422 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
$35.00 Paper Original
Tock Tock Birds is a memoir that chronicles some of the most fascinating as well as some of the least known periods in post-war history. With a focus on India and South East Asia, Tock Tock Birds takes the reader through the end of European colonialism to the earliest days of the new nation states.
Firstly as a young officer with the 9th Gurkha Rifles, then as a high-ranking official in the Colonial Police Service in Malaya and, subsequently, as the Director of Malaya's Intelligence Service, Tim Hatton was ideally placed to witness, and take part in, some of the most dramatic and colourful events of the last days of Empire.
At the age of 22 he commanded a company of Gurkhas which escorted a caravan of 100,000 non-militant Muslims, with all their animals and possessions, travelling on foot and in strict purdah from India to Pakistan during the aftermath of India's Partition.
Hattons role in Malaya began when he discovered secret Malayan Communist Party training camps on the Thai-Malayan border, and in central Malaya, well before the British Government's delayed declaration of the Emergency in 1948. He was often at the sharp end: on one occasion the head of a senior communist regimental commander was dumped on the table of his safe house on the jungle edge.
As well as offering personal insight into the growth of indiscriminate terrorism and the politics of post-war Asia, and including first-hand portraits of major figures of 20th century history such as Queen Mary, Clement Attlee, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Tunku Abdul Rahman Prime Minister of Malaysia and King Constantine of the Hellenes Tock Tock Birds is a sensitive (and often amusing) evocation of disappearing local cultures and thriving wild life, in the days before tiger economies, globalisation and terrorism changed Southeast Asia for ever.
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