Japan: A HistoryNoel Fairchild Busch
Chart of the top 50 most popular and best selling Asia history ebooks at the Apple iBookstore.
Chart list of the top Asian history ebooks was last updated: Tuesday, December 18 2018, 7:58 am
Japan: A HistoryNoel Fairchild Busch
Here is the story of Japan - from the mythological explanations of its birth to the rise of feudal overlords, from its isolationist policies to its emergence as a major world power, from Pearl Harbor to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. Award-winning journalist Noel Fairchild Busch brings the country and its people vividly to life, revealing the beautiful and unusual customs, rituals, and arts of this mysterious culture.
Escape from Camp 14Blaine Harden
With a New Foreword The heartwrenching New York Times bestseller about the only known person born inside a North Korean prison camp to have escaped. Blaine Harden's latest book, King of Spies , will be available from Viking in Fall 2017. North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk. In Escape From Camp 14 , Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence—he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother. The late “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il was recognized throughout the world, but his country remains sealed as his third son and chosen heir, Kim Jong Eun, consolidates power. Few foreigners are allowed in, and few North Koreans are able to leave. North Korea is hungry, bankrupt, and armed with nuclear weapons. It is also a human rights catastrophe. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people work as slaves in its political prison camps. These camps are clearly visible in satellite photographs, yet North Korea’s government denies they exist. Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state. Escape from Camp 14 offers an unequalled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations. It is a tale of endurance and courage, survival and hope.
FanshenWilliam Hinton & Fred Magdoff
More than forty years after its initial publication, William Hinton’s Fanshen continues to be the essential volume for those fascinated with China’s revolutionary process of rural reform and social change. A pioneering work, Fanshan is a marvelous and revealing look into life in the Chinese countryside, where tradition and modernity have had both a complimentary and caustic relationship in the years since the Chinese Communist Party first came to power. It is a rare, concrete record of social struggle and transformation, as witnessed by a participant. Fanshen continues to offer profound insight into the lives of peasants and China’s complex social processes. Rediscover this classic volume, which includes a new preface by Fred Magdoff.
War in Japan 1467–1615Stephen Turnbull
In 1467 the Onin War ushered in a period of unrivalled conflict and rivalry in Japan that came to be called the Age of Warring States or Sengoku Jidai. In this book Stephen Turnbull offers a masterly exposition of the Sengoku Jidai, detailing the factors that led to Japan's disintegration into warring states after more than a century of peace; the years of fighting that followed; and the period of gradual fusion when the daimyo (great names) strove to reunite Japan under a new Shogun. Peace returned to Japan with the end of the Osaka War in 1615, but only at the end of the most violent, turbulent and cruel period in Japanese history.
Japan: A HistoryLucas Peyton Thomas
Kyoto - founded in the year 794 and capital of Japan for fully half that nation's recorded history - sits firmly in the center of Lucas Peyton Thomas's compelling, vivid history of Japan. Here, in vibrant detail, are the stories of the rise and fall of Japan's aristocracy, of the days of the shoguns and samurai, of life in its palaces and moated castles, of a country that once sought to rule China but chose to isolate itself for more than 200 years. Mysterious Japan - a nation known to the West only after the travels of Marco Polo - is unveiled in this engaging book.
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern WorldJack Weatherford
The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors in the looting of the civilized world. But the surprising truth is that Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World , Jack Weatherford, the only Western scholar ever to be allowed into the Mongols’ “Great Taboo”—Genghis Khan’s homeland and forbidden burial site—tracks the astonishing story of Genghis Khan and his descendants, and their conquest and transformation of the world. Fighting his way to power on the remote steppes of Mongolia, Genghis Khan developed revolutionary military strategies and weaponry that emphasized rapid attack and siege warfare, which he then brilliantly used to overwhelm opposing armies in Asia, break the back of the Islamic world, and render the armored knights of Europe obsolete. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongol army never numbered more than 100,000 warriors, yet it subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans conquered in four hundred. With an empire that stretched from Siberia to India, from Vietnam to Hungary, and from Korea to the Balkans, the Mongols dramatically redrew the map of the globe, connecting disparate kingdoms into a new world order. But contrary to popular wisdom, Weatherford reveals that the Mongols were not just masters of conquest, but possessed a genius for progressive and benevolent rule. On every level and from any perspective, the scale and scope of Genghis Khan’s accomplishments challenge the limits of imagination. Genghis Khan was an innovative leader, the first ruler in many conquered countries to put the power of law above his own power, encourage religious freedom, create public schools, grant diplomatic immunity, abolish torture, and institute free trade. The trade routes he created became lucrative pathways for commerce, but also for ideas, technologies, and expertise that transformed the way people lived. The Mongols introduced the first international paper currency and postal system and developed and spread revolutionary technologies like printing, the cannon, compass, and abacus. They took local foods and products like lemons, carrots, noodles, tea, rugs, playing cards, and pants and turned them into staples of life around the world. The Mongols were the architects of a new way of life at a pivotal time in history. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World , Jack Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan, from the story of his relentless rise through Mongol tribal culture to the waging of his devastatingly successful wars and the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed. This dazzling work of revisionist history doesn’t just paint an unprecedented portrait of a great leader and his legacy, but challenges us to reconsider how the modern world was made. From the Hardcover edition.
The Impossible State, Updated EditionVictor Cha
In The Impossible State, seasoned international-policy expert and lauded scholar Victor Cha pulls back the curtain on provocative, isolationist North Korea, providing our best look yet at its history and the rise of the Kim family dynasty and the obsessive personality cult that empowers them. Cha illuminates the repressive regime’s complex economy and culture, its appalling record of human rights abuses, and its belligerent relationship with the United States, and analyzes the regime’s major security issues—from the seemingly endless war with its southern neighbor to its frightening nuclear ambitions—all in light of the destabilizing effects of Kim Jong-il’s death and the transition of power to his unpredictable heir. Ultimately, this engagingly written, authoritative, and highly accessible history warns of a regime that might be closer to its end than many might think—a political collapse for which America and its allies may be woefully unprepared.
Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction finalist Winner of the 2014 National Book Award in nonfiction. An Economist Best Book of 2014. A vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy-or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don't see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes. As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker , Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition , he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals-fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture-consider themselves "angry youth," dedicated to resisting the West's influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth? Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.
The Billionaire RajJames Crabtree
A colorful and revealing portrait of the rise of India’s new billionaire class in a radically unequal society India is the world’s largest democracy, with more than one billion people and an economy expanding faster than China’s. But the rewards of this growth have been far from evenly shared, and the country’s top 1% now own nearly 60% of its wealth. In megacities like Mumbai, where half the population live in slums, the extraordinary riches of India’s new dynasties echo the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers of America's Gilded Age, funneling profits from huge conglomerates into lifestyles of conspicuous consumption. James Crabtree’s The Billionaire Raj takes readers on a personal journey to meet these reclusive billionaires, fugitive tycoons, and shadowy political power brokers. From the sky terrace of the world’s most expensive home to impoverished villages and mass political rallies, Crabtree dramatizes the battle between crony capitalists and economic reformers, revealing a tense struggle between equality and privilege playing out against a combustible backdrop of aspiration, class, and caste. The Billionaire Raj is a vivid account of a divided society on the cusp of transformation—and a struggle that will shape not just India’s future, but the world’s.
Without You, There Is No UsSuki Kim
A haunting account of teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il's reign Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields—except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a walled compound where portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il look on impassively from the walls of every room, and where Suki has gone undercover as a missionary and a teacher. Over the next six months, she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them English, all under the watchful eye of the regime. Life at PUST is lonely and claustrophobic, especially for Suki, whose letters are read by censors and who must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but from her colleagues—evangelical Christian missionaries who don't know or choose to ignore that Suki doesn't share their faith. As the weeks pass, she is mystified by how easily her students lie, unnerved by their obedience to the regime. At the same time, they offer Suki tantalizing glimpses of their private selves—their boyish enthusiasm, their eagerness to please, the flashes of curiosity that have not yet been extinguished. She in turn begins to hint at the existence of a world beyond their own—at such exotic activities as surfing the Internet or traveling freely and, more dangerously, at electoral democracy and other ideas forbidden in a country where defectors risk torture and execution. But when Kim Jong-il dies, and the boys she has come to love appear devastated, she wonders whether the gulf between her world and theirs can ever be bridged. Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life in the world's most unknowable country, and at the privileged young men she calls "soldiers and slaves."
Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War IIJohn W. Dower
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the 1999 National Book Award for Nonfiction, finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, Embracing Defeat is John W. Dower's brilliant examination of Japan in the immediate, shattering aftermath of World War II. Drawing on a vast range of Japanese sources and illustrated with dozens of astonishing documentary photographs, Embracing Defeat is the fullest and most important history of the more than six years of American occupation, which affected every level of Japanese society, often in ways neither side could anticipate. Dower, whom Stephen E. Ambrose has called "America's foremost historian of the Second World War in the Pacific," gives us the rich and turbulent interplay between West and East, the victor and the vanquished, in a way never before attempted, from top-level manipulations concerning the fate of Emperor Hirohito to the hopes and fears of men and women in every walk of life. Already regarded as the benchmark in its field, Embracing Defeat is a work of colossal scholarship and history of the very first order. John W. Dower is the Elting E. Morison Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for War Without Mercy.
On ChinaHenry Kissinger
"Fascinating, shrewd . . . The book deftly traces the rhythms and patterns of Chinese history." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times In this sweeping and insightful history, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book length to a country he has known intimately for decades and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. On China illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and tight line modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, and Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Beijing. With a new final chapter on the emerging superpower’s twenty-first-century role in global politics and economics, On China provides historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of our time.
The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in ChinaDavid J. Silbey
The year is 1900, and Western empires—both old and new—are locked in regional entanglements across the globe. The British are losing a bitter war against the Boers while the German kaiser is busy building a vast new navy. The United States is struggling to put down an insurgency in the South Pacific while the upstart imperialist Japan begins to make clear to neighboring Russia its territorial ambition. In China, a perennial pawn in the Great Game, a mysterious group of superstitious peasants is launching attacks on the Western powers they fear are corrupting their country. These ordinary Chinese—called Boxers by the West because of their martial arts showmanship—rise up, seemingly out of nowhere. Foreshadowing the insurgencies of the more recent past, they lack a centralized leadership and instead tap into latent nationalism and deep economic frustration to build their army. Their battle cry: "Support the Qing, exterminate the foreigners." Many scholars brush off the Boxers as an ill-conceived and easily defeated revolt, but the military historian David J. Silbey shows just how close they came to beating back the combined might of all the imperial powers. Drawing on the diaries and letters of allied soldiers and diplomats, Silbey paints a vivid portrait of the short-lived war. Even though their cause ended just as quickly as it began, the bravery and patriotism of the Boxers would inspire Chinese nationalists—including a young Mao Zedong—for decades to come.
Hong KongJan Morris
In its last days under British rule, the Crown Colony of Hong Kong is the world's most exciting city, at once fascinating and exasperating, a tangle of contradictions. It is a dazzling amalgam of conspicuous consumption and primitive poverty, the most architecturally incongruous yet undeniably beautiful urban panorama of all. World-renowned travel writer Jan Morris offers the most insightful and comprehensive study of the enigma of Hong Kong thus far.
China Only Yesterday, 1850–1950Emily Hahn
A fascinating journey through 100 years of Chinese history, beginning with the historic Treaty of Nanking and ending with Mao Tse-tung’s creation of the Chinese People’s Republic, by the the acclaimed New Yorker correspondent who lived in China from 1935 to 1941 For centuries, China’s code of behavior was incomprehensible to Westerners whom the Chinese viewed as irredeemable barbarians. Presenting historical events with an immediacy that makes you feel as if you were there, Hahn takes readers through isolationist China’s difficult and often costly adaptations to the invasions of Western “foreign devils”, —from the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, which gave the West access to five 5 of China’s eastern ports, to the British colonization of Hong Kong, the rise of the tea trade, the Opium Wars, the arrival of Christian missionaries, and the Boxer Rebellion. Hahn also illuminates the revolutionary movement led by Sun Yat-sen, the overthrow of the Ch’ing Dynasty, the escalating tensions between the Communist and Nationalist parties, and the Japanese invasion on the eve of World War II—which Hahn witnessed firsthand. The final chapters cover the civil war, which ended with Chairman Mao’s formation of the People’s Republic of China and Chiang Kai-shek’s retreat to Taiwan. With an insider’s knowledge of Chinese culture and the politics, Hahn delivers a sharply observant book that illuminates an unforgettable era in China’s tumultuous past.
Vietnam at WarMark Philip Bradley
One of the first books to look at how the Vietnamese themselves experienced the wars for Vietnam, including both the French and the American wars. Combining political, social, and cultural history, Bradley examines how the war was seen both by top policy makers and also everyday soldiers and civilians in both North and South Vietnam.
A Brief History of JapanJonathan Clements
This fascinating history tells the story of the people of Japan, from ancient teenage priest-queens to teeming hordes of salarymen, a nation that once sought to conquer China, yet also shut itself away for two centuries in self-imposed seclusion. First revealed to Westerners in the chronicles of Marco Polo, Japan was a legendary faraway land defended by a fearsome Kamikaze storm and ruled by a divine sovereign. It was the terminus of the Silk Road, the furthest end of the known world, a fertile source of inspiration for European artists, and an enduring symbol of the mysterious East. In recent times, it has become a powerhouse of global industry, a nexus of popular culture, and a harbinger of post-industrial decline. With intelligence and wit, author Jonathan Clements blends documentary and storytelling styles to connect the past, present and future of Japan, and in broad yet detailed strokes reveals a country of paradoxes: a modern nation steeped in ancient traditions; a democracy with an emperor as head of state; a famously safe society built on 108 volcanoes resting on the world's most active earthquake zone; a fast-paced urban and technologically advanced country whose land consists predominantly of mountains and forests. Among the chapters in this Japanese history book are: The Way of the Gods: Prehistoric and Mythical Japan A Game of Thrones: Minamoto vs. Taira Time Warp: 200 Years of Isolation The Stench of Butter: Restoration and Modernization The New Breed: The Japanese Miracle
Cambodia's CurseJoel Brinkley
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist describes how Cambodia emerged from the harrowing years when a quarter of its population perished under the Khmer Rouge. A generation after genocide, Cambodia seemed on the surface to have overcome its history--the streets of Phnom Penh were paved; skyscrapers dotted the skyline. But under this façade lies a country still haunted by its years of terror. Although the international community tried to rebuild Cambodia and introduce democracy in the 1990s, in the country remained in the grip of a venal government. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joel Brinkley learned that almost a half of Cambodianswho lived through the Khmer Rouge era suffered from P.T.S.D.--and had passed their trauma to the next generation. His extensive close-up reporting in Cambodia's Curse illuminates the country, its people, and the deep historical roots of its modern-day behavior.
A Brief History of the Middle EastChristopher Catherwood
Western civilization began in the Middle East: Judaism and Christianity, as well as Islam, were born there. For over a millennium, the Islamic empires were ahead of the West in learning, technology and medicine, and were militarily far more powerful. It took another three hundred centuries for the West to catch up, and overtake, the Middle East. Why does it seem different now? Why does Osama bin Laden see 1918, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, as the year everything changed? These issues are explained in historical detail here, in a way that deliberately seeks to go behind the rhetoric to the roots of present conflicts. A Brief History of the Middle East is essential reading for an intelligent reader wanting to understand what one of the world's key regions is all about. Fully updated with a new section on the Iraq Invasion of 2003, the question of Iran and the full context of the Isreali/Palestine conflict.
Brief History of IndonesiaTim Hannigan
Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of the World's Largest Archipelago Indonesia is by far the largest nation in Southeast Asia and has the fourth largest population in the world after the United States. Indonesian history and culture are especially relevant today as the Island nation is an emerging power in the region with a dynamic new leader. It is a land of incredible diversity and unending paradoxes that has a long and rich history stretching back a thousand years and more. Indonesia is the fabled "Spice Islands" of every school child's dreams—one of the most colorful and fascinating countries in history. These are the islands that Europeans set out on countless voyages of discovery to find and later fought bitterly over in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. This was the land that Christopher Columbus sought, and Magellan actually reached and explored. One tiny Indonesian island was even exchanged for the island of Manhattan in 1667! This fascinating history book tells the story of Indonesia as a narrative of kings, traders, missionaries, soldiers and revolutionaries, featuring stormy sea crossings, fiery volcanoes, and the occasional tiger. It recounts the colorful visits of foreign travelers who have passed through these shores for many centuries—from Chinese Buddhist pilgrims and Dutch adventurers to English sea captains and American movie stars. For readers who want an entertaining introduction to Asia's most fascinating country, this is delightful reading.
The Cleanest RaceB.R. Myers
Understanding North Korea through its propaganda What do the North Koreans really believe? How do they see themselves and the world around them? Here B.R. Myers, a North Korea analyst and a contributing editor of The Atlantic , presents the first full-length study of the North Korean worldview. Drawing on extensive research into the regime’s domestic propaganda, including films, romance novels and other artifacts of the personality cult, Myers analyzes each of the country’s official myths in turn—from the notion of Koreans’ unique moral purity, to the myth of an America quaking in terror of “the Iron General.” In a concise but groundbreaking historical section, Myers also traces the origins of this official culture back to the Japanese fascist thought in which North Korea’s first ideologues were schooled. What emerges is a regime completely unlike the West’s perception of it. This is neither a bastion of Stalinism nor a Confucian patriarchy, but a paranoid nationalist, “military-first” state on the far right of the ideological spectrum. Since popular support for the North Korean regime now derives almost exclusively from pride in North Korean military might, Pyongyang can neither be cajoled nor bullied into giving up its nuclear program. The implications for US foreign policy—which has hitherto treated North Korea as the last outpost of the Cold War—are as obvious as they are troubling. With North Korea now calling for a “blood reckoning” with the “Yankee jackals,” Myers’s unprecedented analysis could not be more timely. From the Hardcover edition.
Tsushima 1905Mark Lardas
Japan was closed to the world until 1854 and its technology then was literally medieval. Great Britain, France and Russia divided the globe in the nineteenth century, but Japan was catching up. Its army and navy were retrained by Western powers and equipped with the latest weapons and ships. Japan wanted to further emulate its European mentors and establish a protectorate over Korea, yet Japanese efforts were blocked by Imperial Russia who had their own designs on the peninsula. The Russo-Japanese War started with a surprise Japanese naval attack against an anchored enemy fleet still believing itself at peace. It ended with the Battle of Tsushima, the most decisive surface naval battle of the 20th century. This gripping study describes this pivotal battle, and shows how the Japanese victory over Russia led to the development of the dreadnought battleship, and gave rise to an almost mythical belief in Japanese naval invincibility.
Bending AdversityDavid Pilling
“[A]n excellent book...” — The Economist Financial Times Asia editor David Pilling presents a fresh vision of Japan, drawing on his own deep experience, as well as observations from a cross section of Japanese citizenry, including novelist Haruki Murakami, former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, industrialists and bankers, activists and artists, teenagers and octogenarians. Through their voices, Pilling's Bending Adversity captures the dynamism and diversity of contemporary Japan. Pilling’s exploration begins with the 2011 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. His deep reporting reveals both Japan’s vulnerabilities and its resilience and pushes him to understand the country’s past through cycles of crisis and reconstruction. Japan’s survivalist mentality has carried it through tremendous hardship, but is also the source of great destruction: It was the nineteenth-century struggle to ward off colonial intent that resulted in Japan’s own imperial endeavor, culminating in the devastation of World War II. Even the postwar economic miracle—the manufacturing and commerce explosion that brought unprecedented economic growth and earned Japan international clout might have been a less pure victory than it seemed. In Bending Adversity Pilling questions what was lost in the country’s blind, aborted climb to #1. With the same rigor, he revisits 1990—the year the economic bubble burst, and the beginning of Japan’s “lost decades”—to ask if the turning point might be viewed differently. While financial struggle and national debt are a reality, post-growth Japan has also successfully maintained a stable standard of living and social cohesion. And while life has become less certain, opportunities—in particular for the young and for women—have diversified. Still, Japan is in many ways a country in recovery, working to find a way forward after the events of 2011 and decades of slow growth. Bending Adversity closes with a reflection on what the 2012 reelection of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and his radical antideflation policy, might mean for Japan and its future. Informed throughout by the insights shared by Pilling’s many interview subjects, Bending Adversity rigorously engages with the social, spiritual, financial, and political life of Japan to create a more nuanced representation of the oft-misunderstood island nation and its people. The Financial Times “David Pilling quotes a visiting MP from northern England, dazzled by Tokyo’s lights and awed by its bustling prosperity: ‘If this is a recession, I want one.’ Not the least of the merits of Pilling’s hugely enjoyable and perceptive book on Japan is that he places the denunciations of two allegedly “lost decades” in the context of what the country is really like and its actual achievements.” The Telegraph (UK) “Pilling, the Asia editor of the Financial Times , is perfectly placed to be our guide , and his insights are a real rarity when very few Western journalists communicate the essence of the world’s third-largest economy in anything but the most superficial ways. Here, there is a terrific selection of interview subjects mixed with great reportage and fact selectio n... he does get people to say wonderful things . The novelist Haruki Murakami tells him: “When we were rich, I hated this country”... well-written ... valuable .” Publishers Weekly (starred): "A probing and insightful portrait of contemporary Japan."
Nothing Ever DiesViet Thanh Nguyen
Nothing Ever Dies, Viet Thanh Nguyen writes. All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory. From the author of the bestselling novel The Sympathizer comes a searching exploration of a conflict that lives on in the collective memory of both the Americans and the Vietnamese.
The early history India to the present, Kingdom, Government, Tradition, People, Economy, Custom and ethnics. The earliest imprints of human activities in India go back to the Paleolithic Age, roughly between 400,000 and 200,000 B.C. Stone implements and cave paintings from this period have been discovered in many parts of the South Asia. Evidence of domestication of animals, the adoption of agriculture, permanent village settlements, and wheel-turned pottery dating from the middle of the sixth millennium B.C. has been found in the foothills of Sindh and Baluchistan (or Balochistan in current Pakistani usage), both in present-day Pakistan. One of the first great civilizations--with a writing system, urban centers, and a diversified social and economic system--appeared around 3,000 B.C. along the Indus River valley in Punjab (see Glossary) and Sindh. It covered more than 800,000 square kilometers, from the borders of Baluchistan to the deserts of Rajasthan, from the Himalayan foothills to the southern tip of Gujarat (see fig. 2). The remnants of two major cities--Mohenjo-daro and Harappa--reveal remarkable engineering feats of uniform urban planning and carefully executed layout, water supply, and drainage. Excavations at these sites and later archaeological digs at about seventy other locations in India and Pakistan provide a composite picture of what is now generally known as Harappan culture (2500-1600 B.C.)..
Empress Dowager CixiJung Chang
A New York Times Notable Book Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908) is the most important woman in Chinese history. She ruled China for decades and brought a medieval empire into the modern age. At the age of sixteen, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor’s numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China—behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male. In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Cixi fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, the telegraph and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishments like “death by a thousand cuts” and put an end to foot-binding. She inaugurated women’s liberation and embarked on the path to introduce parliamentary elections to China. Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot. Cixi reigned during extraordinary times and had to deal with a host of major national crises: the Taiping and Boxer rebellions, wars with France and Japan—and an invasion by eight allied powers including Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States. Jung Chang not only records the Empress Dowager’s conduct of domestic and foreign affairs, but also takes the reader into the depths of her splendid Summer Palace and the harem of Beijing’s Forbidden City, where she lived surrounded by eunuchs—one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences. The world Chang describes here, in fascinating detail, seems almost unbelievable in its extraordinary mixture of the very old and the very new. Based on newly available, mostly Chinese, historical documents such as court records, official and private correspondence, diaries and eyewitness accounts, this biography will revolutionize historical thinking about a crucial period in China’s—and the world’s—history. Packed with drama, fast paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world’s population, and as a unique stateswoman. From the Hardcover edition.
TombstoneYang Jisheng, Stacy Mosher & Jian Guo
The much-anticipated definitive account of China's Great Famine An estimated thirty-six million Chinese men, women, and children starved to death during China's Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s and early '60s. One of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century, the famine is poorly understood, and in China is still euphemistically referred to as "the three years of natural disaster." As a journalist with privileged access to official and unofficial sources, Yang Jisheng spent twenty years piecing together the events that led to mass nationwide starvation, including the death of his own father. Finding no natural causes, Yang attributes responsibility for the deaths to China's totalitarian system and the refusal of officials at every level to value human life over ideology and self-interest. Tombstone is a testament to inhumanity and occasional heroism that pits collective memory against the historical amnesia imposed by those in power. Stunning in scale and arresting in its detailed account of the staggering human cost of this tragedy, Tombstone is written both as a memorial to the lives lost—an enduring tombstone in memory of the dead—and in hopeful anticipation of the final demise of the totalitarian system. Ian Johnson, writing in The New York Review of Books , called the Chinese edition of Tombstone "groundbreaking . . . One of the most important books to come out of China in recent years."
Imperial TwilightStephen R. Platt
As China reclaims its position as a world power, Imperial Twilight looks back to tell the story of the country's last age of ascendance and how it came to an end in the nineteenth-century Opium War. "This thoroughly researched and delightful work is essential for anyone interested in Chinese or British imperial history." -- Library Journal (Starred Review) When Britain launched its first war on China in 1839, pushed into hostilities by profiteering drug merchants and free-trade interests, it sealed the fate of what had long been seen as the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. But internal problems of corruption, popular unrest, and dwindling finances had weakened China far more than was commonly understood, and the war would help set in motion the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty--which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. As one of the most potent turning points in the country's modern history, the Opium War has since come to stand for everything that today's China seeks to put behind it. In this dramatic, epic story, award-winning historian Stephen Platt sheds new light on the early attempts by Western traders and missionaries to "open" China--traveling mostly in secret beyond Canton, the single port where they were allowed--even as China's imperial rulers were struggling to manage their country's decline and Confucian scholars grappled with how to use foreign trade to China's advantage. The book paints an enduring portrait of an immensely profitable--and mostly peaceful--meeting of civilizations at Canton over the long term that was destined to be shattered by one of the most shockingly unjust wars in the annals of imperial history. Brimming with a fascinating cast of British, Chinese, and American individuals, this riveting narrative of relations between China and the West has important implications for today's uncertain and ever-changing political climate.
'Bushido' translates literally as 'the way of the warrior', and is the Japanese word used to describe the ancient code of the Samurai. It is a complex and chivalric code of behavior that prizes loyalty and honor above all, but also champions the qualities of dedication, frugality, and mastery of martial arts. Inazo Nitobe eloquently investigates and explains the foundations of Japan's feudal system, recording and codifying this ancient system of ethics. Nitobe's approach has a vast scope, taking in traditions from Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism and the philosophies of various independent samurai thinkers. This is a crucial book for anyone interested in the world of the Japanese Samurai. This work has been specifically designed for e-readers and contains color images and an interactive scrollable table of contents for ease of navigation.
The Book of NinjaAntony Cummins
The Book of Ninja , the ultimate ninjutsu manual, was penned in 1676 by a ninja known as Fujibayashi. Born in the post-civil war era of Japan, Fujibayashi collected and combined information from the ninja clans of Iga - regarded to be the homeland of the ninja - and compiled it into an authoritative book. Known as The Bansenhukai , this book has now been translated into English by the Historical Ninjutsu Research Team. It is widely considered to be the 'bible' of 'ninjutsu', the arts of the ninja. The Book of Ninja begins with an in-depth introduction to the history of Fujibayashi's scripture. Then the teachings themselves, appealingly rendered in this translation, take us into the secrets of guerilla warfare and espionage. We learn how to become the ultimate spy, whether through a network of spies or by hiding in plain sight. Through the stealth and concealment tactics of night-time infiltration and through weapon and tool building skills, as well as mission planning, we can learn much both about warfare and about adopting the right mindset for tackling our own inner and outer enemies. Adding to the mix for the spycraft lover, there are sections on capturing criminals, performing night raids, making secret codes and signs, and even techniques for predicting the weather and using an esoteric Buddhist system of divination. An exciting and engaging tome of lost knowledge, The Book of the Ninja is the final say in the world of the ninja and the ultimate classic for samurai and ninja enthusiasts alike.
The South African GandhiAshwin Desai & Goolem Vahed
In the pantheon of freedom fighters, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has pride of place. His fame and influence extend far beyond India and are nowhere more significant than in South Africa. "India gave us a Mohandas, we gave them a Mahatma," goes a popular South African refrain. Contemporary South African leaders, including Mandela, have consistently lauded him as being part of the epic battle to defeat the racist white regime. The South African Gandhi focuses on Gandhi's first leadership experiences and the complicated man they reveal—a man who actually supported the British Empire. Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed unveil a man who, throughout his stay on African soil, stayed true to Empire while showing a disdain for Africans. For Gandhi, whites and Indians were bonded by an Aryan bloodline that had no place for the African. Gandhi's racism was matched by his class prejudice towards the Indian indentured. He persistently claimed that they were ignorant and needed his leadership, and he wrote their resistances and compromises in surviving a brutal labor regime out of history. The South African Gandhi writes the indentured and working class back into history. The authors show that Gandhi never missed an opportunity to show his loyalty to Empire, with a particular penchant for war as a means to do so. He served as an Empire stretcher-bearer in the Boer War while the British occupied South Africa, he demanded guns in the aftermath of the Bhambatha Rebellion, and he toured the villages of India during the First World War as recruiter for the Imperial army. This meticulously researched book punctures the dominant narrative of Gandhi and uncovers an ambiguous figure whose time on African soil was marked by a desire to seek the integration of Indians, minus many basic rights, into the white body politic while simultaneously excluding Africans from his moral compass and political ideals.
For King and Another CountryShrabani Basu
Over a million Indian soldiers fought in the First World War, the largest force from the colonies and dominions. Their contribution, however, has been largely forgotten. Many soldiers were illiterate and travelled from remote villages in India to fight in the muddy trenches in France and Flanders. Many went on to win the highest bravery awards. For King and another Country tells, for the first time, the personal stories of some of these Indians who went to the Western Front: from a grand turbanned Maharaja rearing to fight for Empire to a lowly sweeper who dies in a hospital in England, from a Pathan who wins the Victoria Cross to a young pilot barely out of school. Shrabani Basu delves into archives in Britain and narratives buried in villages in India and Pakistan to recreate the War through the eyes of the Indians who fought it. There are heroic tales of bravery as well as those of despair and desperation; there are accounts of the relationships that were forged between the Indians with their British officers and how curries reached the frontline. Above all, it is the great story of how the War changed India and led, ultimately, to the call for independence.
Army of EmpireGeorge Morton-Jack
Drawing on untapped new sources, the first global history of the Indian Expeditionary Forces in World War I While their story is almost always overlooked, the 1.5 million Indian soldiers who served the British Empire in World War I played a crucial role in the eventual Allied victory. Despite their sacrifices, Indian troops received mixed reactions from their allies and their enemies alike-some were treated as liberating heroes, some as mercenaries and conquerors themselves, and all as racial inferiors and a threat to white supremacy. Yet even as they fought as imperial troops under the British flag, their broadened horizons fired in them new hopes of racial equality and freedom on the path to Indian independence. Drawing on freshly uncovered interviews with members of the Indian Army in Iraq and elsewhere, historian George Morton-Jack paints a deeply human story of courage, colonization, and racism, and finally gives these men their rightful place in history.
The Pillow Book清少納言 & Meredith McKinney
A new translation of the idiosyncratic diary of a C10 court lady in Heian Japan. Along with the TALE OF GENJI, this is one of the major Japanese Classics.
In the Time of MadnessRichard Lloyd Parry
From the acclaimed author of The People Who Eat Darkness comes this “deeply felt” account of Indonesia at the crossroads of freedom and terror ( Time Asia ). In the last years of the twentieth century, foreign correspondent Richard Lloyd Parry found himself in the vast island nation of Indonesia, one of the most alluring, mysterious, and violent countries in the world. For thirty-two years, it had been paralyzed by the grip of the dictator and mystic General Suharto, but now the age of Suharto was coming to an end. Would freedom prevail, or was the “time of madness” predicted centuries before now at hand? On the island of Borneo, tribesmen embarked on a rampage of headhunting and cannibalism. Vast jungles burned uncontrollably; money lost its value; there were plane crashes and volcanic eruptions. Then, after Suharto’s tumultuous fall, came the vote on East Timor’s independence from Indonesia. And it was here, trapped in the besieged compound of the United Nations, that Richard reached his own breaking point. A book of hair-raising immediacy and psychological unravelling, In the Time of Madness is an accomplishment in the great tradition of Conrad, Orwell, and Ryszard Kapuscinski.
Three Cups of TeaGreg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin
The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The PartyRichard McGregor
“Few outsiders have any realistic sense of the innards, motives, rivalries, and fears of the Chinese Communist leadership. But we all know much more than before, thanks to Richard McGregor’s illuminating and richly-textured look at the people in charge of China’s political machinery.... Invaluable.” — James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic The Party is Financial Times reporter Richard McGregor’s eye-opening investigation into China’s Communist Party, and the integral role it has played in the country’s rise as a global superpower and rival to the United States. Many books have examined China’s economic rise, human rights record, turbulent history, and relations with the U.S.; none until now, however, have tackled the issue central to understanding all of these issues: how the ruling communist government works. The Party delves deeply into China’s secretive political machine.
Bend, Not BreakPing Fu & MeiMei Fo
“Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times. . . . Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.” —Ping Fu’s “Shanghai Papa” Ping Fu knows what it’s like to be a child soldier, a factory worker, and a political prisoner. To be beaten and raped for the crime of being born into a well-educated family. To be deported with barely enough money for a plane ticket to a bewildering new land. To start all over, without family or friends, as a maid, waitress, and student. Ping Fu also knows what it’s like to be a pioneering software programmer, an innovator, a CEO, and Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year. To be a friend and mentor to some of the best-known names in technology. To build some of the coolest new products in the world. To give speeches that inspire huge crowds. To meet and advise the president of the United States. It sounds too unbelievable for fiction, but this is the true story of a life in two worlds. Born on the eve of China’s Cultural Revolution, Ping was separated from her family at the age of eight. She grew up fighting hunger and humiliation and shielding her younger sister from the teenagers in Mao’s Red Guard. At twenty-five, she found her way to the United States; her only resources were $80 in traveler’s checks and three phrases of English: thank you, hello, and help. Yet Ping persevered, and the hard-won lessons of her childhood guided her to success in her new homeland. Aided by her well-honed survival instincts, a few good friends, and the kindness of strangers, she grew into someone she never thought she’d be—a strong, independent, entrepreneurial leader. A love of problem solving led her to computer science, and Ping became part of the team that created NCSA Mosaic, which became Netscape, the Web browser that forever changed how we access information. She then started a company, Geomagic, that has literally reshaped the world, from personalizing prosthetic limbs to repairing NASA spaceships. Bend, Not Break depicts a journey from imprisonment to freedom, and from the dogmatic anticapitalism of Mao’s China to the high-stakes, take-no-prisoners world of technology start-ups in the United States. It is a tribute to one woman’s courage in the face of cruelty and a valuable lesson on the enduring power of resilience.
China in Ten WordsYu Hua & Allan H. Barr
From one of China’s most acclaimed writers, his first work of nonfiction to appear in English: a unique, intimate look at the Chinese experience over the last several decades, told through personal stories and astute analysis that sharply illuminate the country’s meteoric economic and social transformation. Framed by ten phrases common in the Chinese vernacular—“people,” “leader,” “reading,” “writing,” “Lu Xun” (one of the most influential Chinese writers of the twentieth century), “disparity,” “revolution,” “grassroots,” “copycat,” and “bamboozle”— China in Ten Words reveals as never before the world’s most populous yet oft-misunderstood nation. In “Disparity,” for example, Yu Hua illustrates the mind-boggling economic gaps that separate citizens of the country. In “Copycat,” he depicts the escalating trend of piracy and imitation as a creative new form of revolutionary action. And in “Bamboozle,” he describes the increasingly brazen practices of trickery, fraud, and chicanery that are, he suggests, becoming a way of life at every level of society. Characterized by Yu Hua’s trademark wit, insight, and courage, China in Ten Words is a refreshingly candid vision of the “Chinese miracle” and all its consequences, from the singularly invaluable perspective of a writer living in China today. From the Hardcover edition.
A Kim Jong-Il ProductionPaul Fischer
Before becoming the world’s most notorious dictator, Kim Jong-Il ran North Korea’s Ministry for Propaganda and its film studios. Conceiving every movie made, he acted as producer and screenwriter. Despite this control, he was underwhelmed by the available talent and took drastic steps, ordering the kidnapping of Choi Eun-Hee (Madam Choi)—South Korea’s most famous actress—and her ex-husband Shin Sang-Ok, the country’s most famous filmmaker.Madam Choi vanished first. When Shin went to Hong Kong to investigate, he was attacked and woke up wrapped in plastic sheeting aboard a ship bound for North Korea. Madam Choi lived in isolated luxury, allowed only to attend the Dear Leader’s dinner parties. Shin, meanwhile, tried to escape, was sent to prison camp, and "re-educated." After four years he cracked, pledging loyalty. Reunited with Choi at the first party he attends, it is announced that the couple will remarry and act as the Dear Leader’s film advisors. Together they made seven films, in the process gaining Kim Jong-Il’s trust. While pretending to research a film in Vienna, they flee to the U.S. embassy and are swept to safety.A nonfiction thriller packed with tension, passion, and politics, author Paul Fischer's A Kim Jong-Il Production offers a rare glimpse into a secretive world, illuminating a fascinating chapter of North Korea’s history that helps explain how it became the hermetically sealed, intensely stage-managed country it remains today.
The Way of the SamuraiMiyamoto Musashi, Yamamoto Tsunetomo & Inazo Nitobe
Presented here in one volume are three of the seminal texts relating to the Japanese 'Way of the Samurai', essential reading for anyone interested in the Samurai culture of Japan. 'Go Rin No Sho', or 'The Book of Five Rings' is a famous text written by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi in 1645, concerning Martial Arts, in particular Kenjitsu and the art of Zen. Miyamoto Musashi uses language that is as sharp and decisive as his sword - delivering in unfaltering steps the most direct path towards the objective - to cut down your opponent and emerge unscathed and victorious. 'Hagakure' provides a peerless view into the mindset and morality of the Japanese Samurai. Written by the Samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo in the early 18th Century, the text illustrates the concept of 'Bushido'. 'Bushido' translates literally as 'the way of the warrior', and is the Japanese word used to describe the ancient code of the Samurai. It is a complex and chivalric code of behavior that prizes loyalty and honor above all, but also champions the qualities of dedication, frugality, and mastery of martial arts. Fundamental to 'the Way of the Warrior', is the concept of a 'good death'. Tsunetomo urges his Samurai readers to assume themselves already dead, to completely remove the fear of death, giving them the freedom to act rapidly and decisively, regardless of whether the actions might result in their own demise. The three books in this volume have been beautifully arranged with color images and an interactive table of contents for ease of navigation.
Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly LeaderBradley K. Martin
Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader offers in-depth portraits of North Korea's two ruthless and bizarrely Orwellian leaders, Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. Lifting North Korea's curtain of self-imposed isolation, this book will take readers inside a society, that to a Westerner, will appear to be from another planet. Subsisting on a diet short on food grains and long on lies, North Koreans have been indoctrinated from birth to follow unquestioningly a father-son team of megalomaniacs. To North Koreans, the Kims are more than just leaders. Kim Il-Sung is the country's leading novelist, philosopher, historian, educator, designer, literary critic, architect, general, farmer, and ping-pong trainer. Radios are made so they can only be tuned to the official state frequency. "Newspapers" are filled with endless columns of Kim speeches and propaganda. And instead of Christmas, North Koreans celebrate Kim's birthday--and he presents each child a present, just like Santa. The regime that the Kim Dynasty has built remains technically at war with the United States nearly a half century after the armistice that halted actual fighting in the Korean War. This fascinating and complete history takes full advantage of a great deal of source material that has only recently become available (some from archives in Moscow and Beijing), and brings the reader up to the tensions of the current day. For as this book will explain, North Korea appears more and more to be the greatest threat among the Axis of Evil countries--with some defector testimony warning that Kim Jong-Il has enough chemical weapons to wipe out the entire population of South Korea.
Mao's Great FamineFrank Dikötter
Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize An unprecedented, groundbreaking history of China's Great Famine that recasts the era of Mao Zedong and the history of the People's Republic of China. "Between 1958 and 1962, China descended into hell. Mao Zedong threw his country into a frenzy with the Great Leap Forward, an attempt to catch up to and overtake Britain in less than 15 years The experiment ended in the greatest catastrophe the country had ever known, destroying tens of millions of lives." So opens Frank Dikötter's riveting, magnificently detailed chronicle of an era in Chinese history much speculated about but never before fully documented because access to Communist Party archives has long been restricted to all but the most trusted historians. A new archive law has opened up thousands of central and provincial documents that "fundamentally change the way one can study the Maoist era." Dikötter makes clear, as nobody has before, that far from being the program that would lift the country among the world's superpowers and prove the power of Communism, as Mao imagined, the Great Leap Forward transformed the country in the other direction. It became the site not only of "one of the most deadly mass killings of human history,"--at least 45 million people were worked, starved, or beaten to death--but also of "the greatest demolition of real estate in human history," as up to one-third of all housing was turned into rubble). The experiment was a catastrophe for the natural world as well, as the land was savaged in the maniacal pursuit of steel and other industrial accomplishments. In a powerful mesghing of exhaustive research in Chinese archives and narrative drive, Dikötter for the first time links up what happened in the corridors of power-the vicious backstabbing and bullying tactics that took place among party leaders-with the everyday experiences of ordinary people, giving voice to the dead and disenfranchised. His magisterial account recasts the history of the People's Republic of China.
Midnight's FuriesNisid Hajari
Named one of the best books of 2015 by NPR, Amazon, Seattle Times , and Shelf Awareness A few bloody months in South Asia during the summer of 1947 explain the world that troubles us today. Nobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be so bloody — it was supposed to be an answer to the dreams of Muslims and Hindus who had been ruled by the British for centuries. Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi’s protégé and the political leader of India, believed Indians were an inherently nonviolent, peaceful people. Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was a secular lawyer, not a firebrand. But in August 1946, exactly a year before Independence, Calcutta erupted in street-gang fighting. A cycle of riots — targeting Hindus, then Muslims, then Sikhs — spiraled out of control. As the summer of 1947 approached, all three groups were heavily armed and on edge, and the British rushed to leave. Hell let loose. Trains carried Muslims west and Hindus east to their slaughter. Some of the most brutal and widespread ethnic cleansing in modern history erupted on both sides of the new border, searing a divide between India and Pakistan that remains a root cause of many evils. From jihadi terrorism to nuclear proliferation, the searing tale told in Midnight’s Furies explains all too many of the headlines we read today.
The River of Lost FootstepsThant Myint-U
For nearly two decades Western governments and a growing activist community have been frustrated in their attempts to bring about a freer and more democratic Burma—through sanctions and tourist boycotts—only to see an apparent slide toward even harsher dictatorship. But what do we really know about Burma and its history? And what can Burma's past tell us about the present and even its future? In The River of Lost Footsteps , Thant Myint-U tells the story of modern Burma, in part through a telling of his own family's history, in an interwoven narrative that is by turns lyrical, dramatic, and appalling. His maternal grandfather, U Thant, rose from being the schoolmaster of a small town in the Irrawaddy Delta to become the UN secretary-general in the 1960s. And on his father's side, the author is descended from a long line of courtiers who served at Burma's Court of Ava for nearly two centuries. Through their stories and others, he portrays Burma's rise and decline in the modern world, from the time of Portuguese pirates and renegade Mughal princes through the decades of British colonialism, the devastation of World War II, and a sixty-year civil war that continues today and is the longest-running war anywhere in the world. The River of Lost Footsteps is a work both personal and global, a distinctive contribution that makes Burma accessible and enthralling.
Wealth and PowerOrville Schell & John Delury
Through a series of lively and absorbing portraits of iconic modern Chinese leaders and thinkers, two of today’s foremost specialists on China provide a panoramic narrative of this country’s rise to preeminence that is at once analytical and personal. How did a nation, after a long and painful period of dynastic decline, intellectual upheaval, foreign occupation, civil war, and revolution, manage to burst forth onto the world stage with such an impressive run of hyperdevelopment and wealth creation—culminating in the extraordinary dynamism of China today? Wealth and Power answers this question by examining the lives of eleven influential officials, writers, activists, and leaders whose contributions helped create modern China. This fascinating survey begins in the lead-up to the first Opium War with Wei Yuan, the nineteenth-century scholar and reformer who was one of the first to urge China to borrow ideas from the West. It concludes in our time with human-rights advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, an outspoken opponent of single-party rule. Along the way, we meet such titans of Chinese history as the Empress Dowager Cixi, public intellectuals Feng Guifen, Liang Qichao, and Chen Duxiu, Nationalist stalwarts Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek, and Communist Party leaders Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Zhu Rongji. The common goal that unites all of these disparate figures is their determined pursuit of fuqiang, “wealth and power.” This abiding quest for a restoration of national greatness in the face of a “century of humiliation” at the hands of the Great Powers came to define the modern Chinese character. It’s what drove both Mao and Deng to embark on root-and-branch transformations of Chinese society, first by means of Marxism-Leninism, then by authoritarian capitalism. And this determined quest remains the key to understanding many of China’s actions today. By unwrapping the intellectual antecedents of today’s resurgent China, Orville Schell and John Delury supply much-needed insight into the country’s tortured progression from nineteenth-century decline to twenty-first-century boom. By looking backward into the past to understand forces at work for hundreds of years, they help us understand China today and the future that this singular country is helping shape for all of us. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH “Superb . . . beautifully written and neatly structured.” — Financial Times “[An] engaging narrative of the intellectual and cultural origins of China’s modern rise.” — The New York Times Book Review “Informative and insightful . . . a must-read for anyone with an interest in the world’s fastest-rising superpower.” — Slate “It does a better job than most other books of answering a basic question the rest of the world naturally asks about China’s recent rise: What does China want ?” — The Atlantic “The portraits are beautifully written and bring to life not only their subjects but also the mood and intellectual debates of the times in which they lived.” — Foreign Affairs “Excellent and erudite . . . [The authors] combine scholarly learning with a reportorial appreciation of colorful, revealing details.” — The National Interest From the Hardcover edition.
“[A] reminder of just how horrible nuclear weapons are.”— The Wall Street Journal “ A devastating read that highlights man’s capacity to wreak destruction, but in which one also catches a glimpse of all that is best about people.”— San Francisco Chronicle “A poignant and complex picture of the second atomic bomb’s enduring physical and psychological tolls. Eyewitness accounts are visceral and haunting. . . . But the book’s biggest achievement is its treatment of the aftershocks in the decades since 1945.” — The New Yorker The enduring impact of a nuclear bomb, told through the stories of those who survived: necessary reading as the threat of nuclear war emerges again. On August 9, 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, a small port city on Japan’s southernmost island. An estimated 74,000 people died within the first five months, and another 75,000 were injured. Nagasaki takes readers from the morning of the bombing to the city today, telling the first-hand experiences of five survivors, all of whom were teenagers at the time of the devastation. Susan Southard has spent years interviewing hibakusha (“bomb-affected people”) and researching the physical, emotional, and social challenges of post-atomic life. She weaves together dramatic eyewitness accounts with searing analysis of the policies of censorship and denial that colored much of what was reported about the bombing both in the United States and Japan. A gripping narrative of human resilience, Nagasaki will help shape public discussion and debate over one of the most controversial wartime acts in history. WINNER of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize FINALIST for the Ridenhour Book Prize • Chautauqua Prize • William Saroyan International Prize for Writing • PEN Center USA Literary Award NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Economist • The Washington Post • American Library Association • Kirkus Reviews
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