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The Pepper Trader: True Tales of the German East Asia Squadron and the Man who Cast them in Stone [Paperback]

By Geoffrey Bennett (Author)
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Item Number 169000  
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Item description for The Pepper Trader: True Tales of the German East Asia Squadron and the Man who Cast them in Stone by Geoffrey Bennett...

Hidden high in the mountains of Java lies a graveyard surrounded by ancient trees and steeped in Hindu legend. In the middle of this sacred grove stands a tall memorial dedicated to "the brave men" of the German East Asia Squadron. The graves of ten U-boat sailors rest in the shadow of this mysterious white pillar. Who were these men? And why was a monument dedicated to their honour on the flank of a volcano in Indonesia? These were the questions Geoffrey Bennett asked himself when he chanced upon this remarkable site. He soon identified the man who built the memorial as Emil Helfferich, a young German entrepreneur who sailed to the Dutch East Indies in 1901 to make his fortune in pepper. Helfferich befriended the legendary Graf Spee and his sailors when they visited Java. He cheered their exploits in the early months of World War I - victory at Coronel, the swashbuckling raids of Emden, their daring trek on camelback - and he mourned their inevitable demise. Through the eyes of Helfferich, Bennett recounts tales of the tropics, the wider world and the unseen hand that guided the young man's life and loves. The Pepper Trader takes the reader on a romantic journey from Helfferich's village in Germany to the exotic East Indies and back again to his native land. A memorable cast of real characters, mystical creatures and the Queen of the South Sea accompany the reader on this fascinating voyage. This true story is a unique account of long-forgotten events from the last century - and how they continue to affect us today. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Geoffrey Bennett was born in Ottawa, Canada, and has lived in six Canadian cities as well as Denver, Houston, Paris, Jakarta, Singapore and Bangkok. A student of engineering at the Royal Military College of Canada and geophysics at the University of British Columbia, Mr. Bennett has worked as an exploration geophysicist for thirty years, half of that time in Jakarta, Indonesia. In addition to five papers on geophysics, he has written The Jakarta Hike & Bike Trail Guide as well as several articles on birding, Scouting, canoeing and mountaineering.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Equinox Publishing
Pages   392
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.82" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   1.32 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 26, 2006
Publisher   Equinox Publishing
ISBN  9793780266  
ISBN13  9789793780269  

Availability  128 units.
Availability accurate as of May 26, 2017 05:00.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Geoffrey Bennett

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Geoffrey Bennett served as a captain in the Royal Navy from 1923 to 1958, during which he was the Naval Attaché for three years in Moscow. He is the author of several distinguished books on the history of naval warfare, including "The Battle of Jutland," "Coronel" and the Falklands, and "The Battle of River Plate."

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Asia > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Asia
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Germany > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Germany
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > Naval
6Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War I
7Books > Subjects > History > World > General
8Books > Subjects > History > World

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Pepper Trader: True Tales of the German East Asia Squadron and the Man who Cast them in Stone?

Don't let the fact this is not "serious" stuff put you off  Aug 6, 2009
Well, I enjoyed the book, probably because I am based in Indonesia and know many of the places the author talks about. I never expected the book to be a thesis, or serious attempt at the "melancholy of time", but a lightweight story and entertainment. I read it to the end, unlike many books that probably get better literary ratings from serious chaps, and found it to be refreshingly un-pretentious rather than "silly".
I recommend this book to anyone who reads for fun father than intellectual advancement, but suspect it will appeal mostly to those who have lived or worked in Indonesia. The author's short descriptions of the local characters do reflect some interesting aspects of the Sundanese world-view, which might be missed by most foreigners.
indulgent vanity press book  Aug 10, 2008
Very self-indulgent, silly sentimentality, no primary archival research, poorly structured

I was hoping for well-written material on a fascinating part of history, the Dutch East Indies in WWI.
Instead, one gets an amateurish hodge-podge.
The best parts are the biographical chapters on the Helferrich Brothers, Karl, Emil, and Theodor which include some original material from personal experiences in Indonesia, recommend consulting this material in a library copy, not buying it
However, the bulk of the book is a rehash of secondary sources on the German East Asia squadron, on which there are much better books. This is not a good book from the point of view as popular or serious history.
He does not even manage to be historically accurate when he tries to mix in later well-known historical events in for the 'dramatic effect of the "sweep of history" and lame attempts at the melancholy of time Very half-baked.
Too bad he did not mix the original anecdotal Helferrich material he has with some coherent research in national archives of USA, UK, Netherlands [and Germany as well] where there is substantial material on the activities of the Helferrich brothers, who are in themselves very interesting characters.

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