Top Asian History Ebooks

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The Last Kings of Shanghai - Jonathan Kaufman Cover Art

The Last Kings of Shanghai

The Last Kings of Shanghai The Rival Jewish Dynasties That Helped Create Modern China by Jonathan Kaufman

"In vivid detail... examines the little-known history of two extraordinary dynasties." --The Boston Globe "Not just a brilliant, well-researched, and highly readable book about China's past, it also reveals the contingencies and ironic twists of fate in China's modern history." --LA Review of Books An epic, multigenerational story of two rival dynasties who flourished in Shanghai and Hong Kong as twentieth-century China surged into the modern era, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Shanghai, 1936. The Cathay Hotel, located on the city's famous waterfront, is one of the most glamorous in the world. Built by Victor Sassoon--billionaire playboy and scion of the Sassoon dynasty--the hotel hosts a who's who of global celebrities: Noel Coward has written a draft of Private Lives in his suite and Charlie Chaplin has entertained his wife-to-be. And a few miles away, Mao and the nascent Communist Party have been plotting revolution. By the 1930s, the Sassoons had been doing business in China for a century, rivaled in wealth and influence by only one other dynasty--the Kadoories. These two Jewish families, both originally from Baghdad, stood astride Chinese business and politics for more than 175 years, profiting from the Opium Wars; surviving Japanese occupation; courting Chiang Kai-shek; and losing nearly everything as the Communists swept into power. In The Last Kings of Shanghai, Jonathan Kaufman tells the remarkable history of how these families participated in an economic boom that opened China to the world, but remained blind to the country's deep inequality and to the political turmoil at their doorsteps. In a story stretching from Baghdad to Hong Kong to Shanghai to London, Kaufman enters the lives and minds of these ambitious men and women to forge a tale of opium smuggling, family rivalry, political intrigue, and survival. The book lays bare the moral compromises of the Kadoories and the Sassoons--and their exceptional foresight, success, and generosity. At the height of World War II, they joined together to rescue and protect eighteen thousand Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism. Though their stay in China started out as a business opportunity, the country became a home they were reluctant to leave, even on the eve of revolution. The lavish buildings they built and the booming businesses they nurtured continue to define Shanghai and Hong Kong to this day. As the United States confronts China's rise, and China grapples with the pressures of breakneck modernization and global power, the long-hidden odysseys of the Sassoons and the Kadoories hold a key to understanding the present moment.

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Musashi - Eiji Yoshikawa Cover Art

Musashi

Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman. Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. It is a living story, subtle and imaginative, teeming with memorable characters, many of them historical. Interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, filial piety and absolute dedication to the Way of the Samurai, it depicts vividly a world Westerners know only vaguely.

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The Fall of Japan - William J. Craig Cover Art

The Fall of Japan

The Fall of Japan The Final Weeks of World War II in the Pacific by William J. Craig

New York Times Bestseller: A “virtually faultless” account of the last weeks of WWII in the Pacific from both Japanese and American perspectives ( The New York Times Book Review ). By midsummer 1945, Japan had long since lost the war in the Pacific. The people were not told the truth, and neither was the emperor. Japanese generals, admirals, and statesmen knew, but only a handful of leaders were willing to accept defeat. Most were bent on fighting the Allies until the last Japanese soldier died and the last city burned to the ground.   Exhaustively researched and vividly told, The Fall of Japan masterfully chronicles the dramatic events that brought an end to the Pacific War and forced a once-mighty military nation to surrender unconditionally.   From the ferocious fighting on Okinawa to the all-but-impossible mission to drop the 2nd atom bomb, and from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s White House to the Tokyo bunker where tearful Japanese leaders first told the emperor the truth, William Craig captures the pivotal events of the war with spellbinding authority. The Fall of Japan brings to life both celebrated and lesser-known historical figures, including Admiral Takijiro Onishi, the brash commander who drew up the Yamamoto plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor and inspired the death cult of kamikaze pilots., This astonishing account ranks alongside Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day and John Toland’s The Rising Sun as a masterpiece of World War II history.

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The Tragedy of Liberation - Frank Dikötter Cover Art

The Tragedy of Liberation

The Tragedy of Liberation A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945-1957 by Frank Dikötter

A groundbreaking chronicle of the violent early years of the People's Republic of China, by the author of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize–winning Mao's Great Famine. "The Chinese Communist party refers to its victory in 1949 as a 'liberation.' In China the story of liberation and the revolution that followed is not one of peace, liberty, and justice. It is first and foremost a story of calculated terror and systematic violence." So begins Frank Dikötter's stunning and revelatory chronicle of Mao Zedong's ascension and campaign to transform the Chinese into what the party called New People. Following the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek in 1949, after a bloody civil war, Mao hoisted the red flag over Beijing's Forbidden City, and the world watched as the Communist revolution began to wash away the old order. Due to the secrecy surrounding the country's records, little has been known before now about the eight years that followed, preceding the massive famine and Great Leap Forward. Drawing on hundreds of previously classified documents, secret police reports, unexpurgated versions of leadership speeches, eyewitness accounts of those who survived, and more, The Tragedy of Liberation bears witness to a shocking, largely untold history. Interweaving stories of ordinary citizens with tales of the brutal politics of Mao's court, Frank Dikötter illuminates those who shaped the "liberation" and the horrific policies they implemented in the name of progress. People of all walks of life were caught up in the tragedy that unfolded, and whether or not they supported the revolution, all of them were asked to write confessions, denounce their friends, and answer queries about their political reliability. One victim of thought reform called it a "carefully cultivated Auschwitz of the mind.

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The Anarchy - William Dalrymple Cover Art

The Anarchy

The Anarchy The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire by William Dalrymple

Finalist for the Cundill History Prize ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal and NPR "Superb … A vivid and richly detailed story … worth reading by everyone." -The New York Times Book Review From the bestselling author of Return of a King, the story of how the East India Company took over large swaths of Asia, and the devastating results of the corporation running a country. In August 1765, the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and set up, in his place, a government run by English traders who collected taxes through means of a private army. The creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional company and became something much more unusual: an international corporation transformed into an aggressive colonial power. Over the course of the next 47 years, the company's reach grew until almost all of India south of Delhi was effectively ruled from a boardroom in the city of London. The Anarchy tells one of history's most remarkable stories: how the Mughal Empire-which dominated world trade and manufacturing and possessed almost unlimited resources-fell apart and was replaced by a multinational corporation based thousands of miles overseas, and answerable to shareholders, most of whom had never even seen India and no idea about the country whose wealth was providing their dividends. Using previously untapped sources, Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before and provides a portrait of the devastating results from the abuse of corporate power. Bronze Medal in the 2020 Arthur Ross Book Award

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Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan - Eiji Yoshikawa Cover Art

Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan

Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan by Eiji Yoshikawa

In the tempestuous closing decades of the sixteenth century, the Empire of Japan writhes in chaos as the shogunate crumbles and rival warlords battle for supremacy. Warrior monks in their armed citadels block the road to the capital; castles are destroyed, villages plundered, fields put to the torch. Amid this devastation, three men dream of uniting the nation. At one extreme is the charismatic but brutal Nobunaga, whose ruthless ambition crushes all before him. At the opposite pole is the cold, deliberate Ieyasu, wise in counsel, brave in battle, mature beyond his years. But the keystone of this triumvirate is the most memorable of all, Hideyoshi, who rises from the menial post of sandal bearer to become Taiko-absolute ruler of Japan in the Emperor's name. When Nobunaga emerges from obscurity by destroying an army ten times the size of his own, he allies himself with Ieyasu, whose province is weak, but whose canniness and loyalty make him invaluable. Yet it is the scrawny, monkey-faced Hideyoshi-brash, impulsive, and utterly fearless-who becomes the unlikely savior of this ravaged land. Born the son of a farmer, he takes on the world with nothing but his bare hands and his wits, turning doubters into loyal servants, rivals into faithful friends, and enemies into allies. In all this he uses a piercing insight into human nature that unlocks castle gates, opens men's minds, and captures women's hearts. For Hideyoshi's passions are not limited to war and intrigue-his faithful wife, Nene, holds his love dear, even when she must share it; the chaste Oyu, sister of Hideyoshi's chief strategist, falls prey to his desires; and the seductive Chacha, whom he rescues from the fiery destruction of her father's castle, tempts his weakness. As recounted by Eiji Yoshikawa, author of the international best-seller  Musashi ,  Taiko  tells many stories: of the fury of Nobunaga and the fatal arrogance of the black-toothed Yoshimoto; of the pathetic downfall of the House of Takeda; how the scorned Mitsuhide betrayed his master; how once impregnable ramparts fell as their defenders died gloriously. Most of all, though,  Taiko  is the story of how one man transformed a nation through the force of his will and the depth of his humanity. Filled with scenes of pageantry and violence, acts of treachery and self-sacrifice, tenderness and savagery,  Taiko  combines the panoramic spectacle of a Kurosawa epic with a vivid evocation of feudal Japan.

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Ho Chi Minh - William J. Duiker Cover Art

Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh A Life by William J. Duiker

To grasp the complicated causes and consequences of the Vietnam War, one must understand the extraordinary life of Ho Chi Minh, the man generally recognized as the father of modern Vietnam. Duiker provides startling insights into Ho's true motivation, as well as into the Soviet and Chinese roles in the Vietnam War.

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All Men are Brothers - Mahatma Ghandi Cover Art

All Men are Brothers

All Men are Brothers Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi as told in His Own Words by Mahatma Ghandi

All Men Are Brothers, which was first published in 1958, is a compelling and unique collection of Mahatma Gandhi’s most trenchant writings on nonviolence, especially in the context of a post-nuclear world. This compendium, which reads like a traditional book—“Gandhi without tears”—is drawn from a wide range of his reflections on world peace. In his own words: “It is not that I am incapable of anger, but I succeed on almost all occasions to keep my feelings under control. Such a struggle leaves one stronger for it. The more I work at this, the more I feel delight in my life, the delight in the scheme of the universe. It gives me a peace and a meaning of the mysteries of nature that I have no power to describe.”

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Tôn Tử binh pháp: Từ chiến trường đến thương trường. - Đông A Sáng Cover Art

Tôn Tử binh pháp: Từ chiến trường đến thương trường.

Tôn Tử binh pháp: Từ chiến trường đến thương trường. by Đông A Sáng

Tôn Tử binh pháp của Tôn Tử ra đời cách đây 2500 năm, là một bảo vật trong kho tàng văn hoá quân sự, là thuỷ tổ của binh học phương Đông, là sách gối đầu giường của các nhà quân sự nổi tiếng trong lịch sử Trung Hoa và nhiều nước trên thế giới như Việt Nam, Nhật Bản, Triều Tiên, Pháp, Anh, Mĩ. Tôn Tử binh pháp được đánh giá có bốn cái nhất : thiên hạ đệ nhất binh thư, sĩ đồ đệ nhất quyền mưu, thiên hạ đệ nhất nhân học và đệ nhất thắng kinh. Qua thực tiễn mấy nghìn năm tranh hùng, Tôn Tử binh pháp được các nhà quân sự kiệt xuất đánh giá là thiên hạ đệ nhất binh thư. Tôn Tử binh pháp không chỉ bàn về nghệ thuật chiến tranh, sách còn nêu những quyền biến, mưu lược cần có của những người trí thức, những nhà chính trị trong việc trị nước, an dân, làm cho dân giàu, nước mạnh. Nhiều người cho rằng, Tôn Tử binh pháp là sĩ đồ đệ nhất quyền mưu. Tôn Tử binh pháp còn là một cuốn sách bàn về con người, nêu cách chọn người, thu phục lòng người, dùng người, trị người hợp với nhân tình thế thái. Qua kinh nghiệm xuất xử, nhiều người gọi Tôn Tử binh pháp là thiên hạ đệ nhất nhân học. Ngày nay, thương trường tuy không có gươm giáo sáng loà nhưng lại vô cùng ác liệt ; ngoài việc học những môn cần thiết cho việc kinh doanh, các doanh nhân cần phải học tập, nghiên cứu nghệ thuật quân sự để ứng biến trên thương trường. Qua ứng dụng, nhiều doanh nhân thành đạt đã thừa nhận Tôn Tử binh pháp là cuốn sách số một để giành chiến thắng trên thương trường, thương trường đệ nhất thắng kinh. Vì vậy, nhiều doanh nhân, nhiều sinh viên ở các trường đại học thương nghiệp say mê đọc Tôn Tử binh pháp ; và nhiều cuốn sách chuyên phân tích ứng dụng Tôn Tử binh pháp vào thương trường đã ra đời. Ngoài ra, các nhà nghiên cứu cho rằng, Tôn Tử binh pháp ít nhất liên quan đến 25 môn học khác như : dự đoán học, tình báo học, tâm lí học, quyết sách học. Cuốn sách Tôn Tử binh pháp và Nghệ thuật giành thắng lợi trên thương trường là những cuốn sách hay nhất trong rừng sách vở Trung Hoa, chúng tôi biên soạn, dịch thuật để tặng quý bạn đọc. Về giải thích nguyên văn binh thư, chúng tôi dựa vào bản giải thích bằng bạch thoại, dễ hiểu của tác giả Hoa Phong và Vương Hưng Nghiệp(*), với phương pháp được ý quên lời của Trang Tử. Về nội dung, sách đề cập những nghệ thuật, mưu lược, quyết sách giành thắng lợi trên thương trường ; phân tích và ứng dụng gần 100 vấn đề liên quan thương trường và có gần 100 ví dụ hấp dẫn về hoạt động quân sự và hoạt động kinh doanh. Sách còn minh hoạ thêm những mẩu chuyện về Tôn Tử, phụ lục thêm phần nguyên văn tiếng Trung và bản phiên âm để quý bạn tham khảo. Bản thân Tôn Tử binh pháp đã thu hút nhiều thế hệ, cộng hưởng với nội dung phong phú, lập luận chặt chẽ, phân tích sâu sắc, cộng thêm những ví dụ sinh động sách càng thêm hấp dẫn. Tôn Tử quan niệm, việc chiến tranh là việc lớn của quốc gia, là vấn đề sinh tử của nhân dân, là con đường còn mất của đất nước, cho nên không thể không thận trọng. Một vấn đề quan trọng là chọn tướng tài ; tướng tài là bảo vật của quốc gia. Nếu gọi thương trường là chiến trường, thì việc thành bại trên thương trường không chỉ ảnh hưởng đến sự sống còn, hưng vong của một xí nghiệp, doanh nghiệp mà còn ảnh hưởng đến nền kinh tế của quốc gia, lợi ích quốc gia, ảnh hưởng đến vị thế của đất nước trong việc sánh vai với cường quốc năm châu. Muốn thắng lợi trên thương trường quốc tế, đất nước phải có nhiều doanh nhân giỏi, doanh nhân giỏi là ngọc quý của quốc gia (quốc chi bảo). Có người cho rằng : Có lí tưởng mà không có tri thức như con thuyền mắc cạn. Với trách nhiệm nặng nề đối với xí nghiệp, doanh nghiệp, với đất nước, doanh nhân cần phải có kiến thức rộng, thủ đắc quyền mưu, rèn luyện phương pháp tư duy, tri kỉ, tri bỉ, lấy bất biến ứng vạn biến, giành thắng lợi trên thương trường. Hi vọng cuốn sách sẽ là một món quà tặng trong hành trang tri thức của doanh nhân, góp gợn sóng nhỏ đưa thuyền ra khơi, vượt qua sóng gió và cập vịnh thành công.

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Sources of Chinese Tradition - Wm. Theodore de Bary & Richard Lufrano Cover Art

Sources of Chinese Tradition

Sources of Chinese Tradition From 1600 Through the Twentieth Century by Wm. Theodore de Bary & Richard Lufrano

For four decades Sources of Chinese Tradition has served to introduce Western readers to Chinese civilization as it has been seen through basic writings and historical documents of the Chinese themselves. Now in its second edition, revised and extended through Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin–era China, this classic volume remains unrivaled for its wide selection of source readings on history, society, and thought in the world's largest nation. Award-winning China scholar Wm. Theodore de Bary—who edited the first edition in 1960—and his coeditor Richard Lufrano have revised and updated the second volume of Sources to reflect the interactions of ideas, institutions, and historical events from the seventeenth century up to the present day. Beginning with Qing civilization and continuing to contemporary times, volume II brings together key source texts from more than three centuries of Chinese history, with opening essays by noted China authorities providing context for readers not familiar with the period in question. Here are just a few of the topics covered in this second volume of Sources of Chinese Tradition: • Early Sino-Western contacts in the seventeenth century; • Four centuries of Chinese reflections on differences between Eastern and Western civilizations; • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century reform movements, with treatises on women's rights, modern science, and literary reform; • Controversies over the place of Confucianism in modern Chinese society; • The nationalist revolution—including readings from Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek; • The communist revolution—with central writings by Mao Zedong; • Works from contemporary China—featuring political essays from Deng Xiaoping and dissidents including Wei Jingsheng. With more than two hundred selections in lucid, readable translation by today's most renowned experts on Chinese language and civilization, Sources of Chinese Tradition will continue to be recognized as the standard for source readings on Chinese civilization, an indispensable learning tool for scholars and students of Asian civilizations.

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Chữ nhẫn của người Trung Hoa - Đông A Sáng Cover Art

Chữ nhẫn của người Trung Hoa

Chữ nhẫn của người Trung Hoa by Đông A Sáng

Qua kinh nghiệm mấy nghìn năm lịch sử, các học giả đã tổng kết, chữ Nhẫn là nền tảng của việc tu dưỡng tính tình ; là cẩm nang trong việc mưu sinh, tiến thân, lập nghiệp ; là kim chỉ nam trong việc đối nhân xử thế ; là tinh túy của văn hóa ứng xử Trung Hoa. Nội dung của chữ Nhẫn rất rộng, bao gồm những đức tính tốt đẹp như nhịn nhục, nhường nhịn, kiên nhẫn, rộng lượng, vị tha, nhân ái. Phạm vi áp dụng của chữ Nhẫn cũng rất sâu, từ việc nhỏ như nói, cười, ăn uống, thưởng ngoạn nghệ thuật, dưỡng sinh, học tập … đến việc đối xử với kẻ ăn người ở, vợ chồng, cha mẹ, bạn bè, khách khứa, thầy trò, quân thần. Công dụng của chữ Nhẫn thật vô song, giúp người ta vượt qua những trở ngại trên đường đời, tránh thất bại, tìm thành công, tránh họa, tìm phúc ; thực hiện được những mơ ước của tuổi thanh xuân, bằng an khi tuổi tác đã cao ; vui trong nghề nghiệp ; tròn vẹn chức phận, công thành danh toại và hoàn thành bổn phận làm người. Sở dĩ, chữ Nhẫn có nội dung rộng, phạm vi áp dụng sâu, công dụng vô song vì chữ Nhẫn được hình thành trên nền tảng minh triết (Nho gia và Đạo gia) : Tự thắng mình là mạnh, lấy yếu thắng mạnh, lấy mềm chế cứng, thể hiện được cái dũng của thánh nhân, nhịn việc nhỏ để thực hiện mưu lớn của người quân tử. Ngày xưa, những kẻ sĩ, những anh hùng, hào kiệt, những minh quân, những bậc hiền nhân không giây phút nào rời xa chữ Nhẫn. Ngày nay, chữ Nhẫn vẫn còn nguyên vẹn giá trị trong xã hội, đặc biệt là với những nhà giáo dục, những doanh nhân. Từ kinh nghiệm quý giá trong lịch sử, nhà bác học đa tài Hứa Danh Khuê (Ngô Lượng), đời Nguyên, đã nghiên cứu, sưu tập kinh điển để viết thành sách, có tên là Nhẫn kinh, khuyến nhẫn bách châm, nghĩa là cuốn sách được xếp vào hàng những kinh điển quý giá của Trung Hoa. Là cuốn sách hay, nên chúng tôi tuyển chọn, soạn thêm, sắp xếp lại, để cống hiến bạn đọc. Sách gồm có 2 chương : Chương một : Trên 70 câu chuyện ngắn gọn, thú vị, hấp dẫn về chữ Nhẫn, gọi là Nhẫn kinh. Chương hai: Gần 300 câu danh ngôn, phương châm giàu trí tuệ về chữ Nhẫn, gọi là khuyến Nhẫn. Lượng trang sách rất khiêm tốn, nhưng ứng dụng hoài không hết, ý nghĩa không bao giờ cạn, càng dùng càng thấy sáng tỏ, hữu ích ; sách là người bạn tốt của những người muốn thành công.

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Fanshen - William Hinton & Fred Magdoff Cover Art

Fanshen

Fanshen A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village by William 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.

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Bạo chúa Trung Hoa - Đông A Sáng Cover Art

Bạo chúa Trung Hoa

Bạo chúa Trung Hoa by Đông A Sáng

Tưới xin giọt lệ cho người thác oan. (Truyện Kiều, Nguyễn Du) Có thuyết cho rằng, trải qua trên dưới 5 ngàn năm, Trung Hoa có đến hàng vạn đế vương. Nhưng gần đây, các sử gia khẳng định : Nếu tính từ Hoàng Đế đến khi nhà Mãn Châu mất, Trung Hoa trải qua 83 vương triều (tức có chính quyền trung ương), có 559 đế vương, gồm 357 đế, 112 vương, bên cạnh những minh quân còn có những đế vương bị xếp vào hàng bạo chúa. Thường, những vị minh quân viết nên những trang sử huy hoàng, những bạo chúa đã vẽ nên những bức tranh ảm đạm, đen tối của dân tộc Trung Hoa. Cuốn sách này, giới thiệu đến quý bạn 44 bạo chúa từ nhà Hạ, nhà Thương đến nhà Minh, nhà Thanh. Có những bạo chúa mà chúng ta đã từng biết như Kiệt, Trụ … sách còn đề cập đến những bạo chúa, tưởng chừng như chìm trong lớp bụi thời gian, nay được các nhà sử học đưa ra ánh sáng, để bạn đọc cùng phân xử như Ung Chính, Càn Long. Mỗi bạo chúa tuy ở mỗi thời đại khác nhau, tính cách khác nhau, sự bạo tàn cũng khác nhau, nhưng những điểm chung nhất là các bạo chúa đã gây tội ác, gieo tang tóc đau thương cho dân tộc họ về thân xác cũng như tinh thần, đôi khi còn đem đến sự diệt vong của cả một triều đại. Nếu lịch sử là một quá trình của một dân tộc, quá trình ấy đã để lại cho hậu thế những bài học hay hoặc những bài học cay đắng, ngậm ngùi … xét cho cùng đều là những bài học quý được kết tụ từ mồ hôi, nước mắt, xương máu bao đời. Tuy sách đề cập đến những trang sử đầy bi kịch, đen tối, ảm đạm … nhưng người đọc vẫn thấy ánh sáng ước mơ về mọi đất nước đều có những người cầm quyền sáng suốt, nhân từ, đem an bình, hạnh phúc cho dân chúng. Sách được viết theo lối văn sử, giàu tính chất văn chương nhưng vẫn giữ được sự chính xác, chân thực của sử liệu. Với những ưu điểm trên, có thể nói cuốn sách là những đoá hoa lạ đầy hương sắc phương xa, trong đại ngàn sách vở Trung Hoa, chúng tôi cố gắng biên soạn, dịch thuật để tặng quý bạn đọc. Có người cho rằng, miệt mài góp nhặt chuyện của mấy ngàn năm lịch sử vào trong mấy trăm trang sách là một việc dại khờ, như đãi cát tìm vàng bên dòng sông Thời gian vô tận, đầy lớp sóng phế hưng bất trắc. Nếu nói vậy, cuốn sách trên tay quý bạn là một thành quả của một việc làm khờ dại. Đôi khi người khờ dại lại là người đáng mến; người dại khờ, nếu có những thiếu sót, sẽ được bạn đọc sẵn lòng lượng thứ.

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Mĩ nhân và ngai vàng Trung Hoa - Đông A Sáng Cover Art

Mĩ nhân và ngai vàng Trung Hoa

Mĩ nhân và ngai vàng Trung Hoa by Đông A Sáng

Trải qua trên dưới 5000 năm lịch sử, Trung Hoa có hàng vạn Đế vương, mỗi Đế vương đều có mẹ (Hoàng Thái hậu), có vợ (Hoàng hậu), có vô số cung phi, mĩ nữ. Hàng ngàn, hàng vạn người đẹp được tuyển vào cung, người nào may mắn hoặc phải tìm trăm mưu ngàn kế mới giành được sự sủng ái của Thái tử hoặc của nhà vua… dần dần bước lên ngôi Hoàng hậu hoặc Hoàng Thái hậu, có nhiều người đã trở thành nữ Hoàng đế. Đa số người đẹp còn lại, được nhà vua sủng hạnh một đôi lần, rồi âm thầm chết già trong cung cấm, hoặc nhiều người một đời không được gặp đấng quân vương ! Bên cạnh đó, còn có tông tộc, họ hàng của Hoàng Thái hậu, của Hoàng hậu, cung phi mĩ nữ, gọi là ngoại thích rất đông đảo. Hoàng Thái hậu, hoặc Hoàng hậu hiền thục, trí tuệ, giàu lòng nhân ái, sẽ giúp cho nhà vua ngồi yên ổn trên ngai vàng, cai trị đất nước một cách thông minh, đem lại thịnh vượng cho quốc gia và hạnh phúc cho nhân dân. Hoàng Thái hậu hoặc Hoàng hậu nhiều tham vọng, độc ác, chuyên quyền, tin dùng ngoại thích, nhà vua trở thành con rối ngồi trên ngai vàng, có thể làm sụp đổ cả một Vương triều, làm cho đất nước điêu linh nhân dân khốn khổ. Cuốn sách Mĩ nhân và ngai vàng Trung Hoa giới thiệu với quý bạn 18 vị Hoàng Thái hậu, Hoàng hậu từ thời nhà Tần – Hán đến Minh – Thanh. Bằng những câu chuyện thú vị, giàu tính văn sử, sách sẽ đưa quý bạn về chốn thâm cung, chỉ có thời gian mới làm tan đi những màn sương bí mật. Mười tám người, được gọi là những đại mĩ nhân, mỗi người mỗi vẻ, nhưng nhìn chung, sách đã khắc hoạ được những mặt tốt, những mặt xấu của người phụ nữ. Những người đẹp vang bóng một thời đã lui về dĩ vãng, nhưng những tấm gương thiện ác của họ còn đó, để mọi người cùng suy ngẫm. Đã là đấng mày râu, từ vua chúa đến thứ dân, từ kẻ cao sang quyền quý đến người chân lấm tay bùn, ai cũng muốn có một người mẹ hiền, một người vợ tốt, một gia đình hoà thuận, ấm êm. Đó là điểm sáng của cuốn sách.

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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World - Jack Weatherford Cover Art

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The startling true history of how one extraordinary man from a remote corner of the world created an empire that led the world into the modern age—by the author featured in Echoes of the Empire: Beyond Genghis Khan . The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans did in four hundred. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization. Vastly more progressive than his European or Asian counterparts, Genghis Khan abolished torture, granted universal religious freedom, and smashed feudal systems of aristocratic privilege. From the story of his rise through the tribal culture to the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed, this brilliant work of revisionist history is nothing less than the epic story of how the modern world was made.

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Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China's Civil War - Zhuqing Li Cover Art

Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China's Civil War

Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China's Civil War by Zhuqing Li

Sisters separated by war forge new identities as they are forced to choose between family, nation, and their own independence. Jun and Hong were scions of a once great southern Chinese family. Each other’s best friend, they grew up in the 1930s during the final days of Old China before the tumult of the twentieth century brought political revolution, violence, and a fractured national identity. By a quirk of timing, at the end of the Chinese Civil War, Jun ended up on an island under Nationalist control, and then settled in Taiwan, married a Nationalist general, and lived among fellow exiles at odds with everything the new Communist regime stood for on the mainland. Hong found herself an ocean away on the mainland, forced to publicly disavow both her own family background and her sister’s decision to abandon the party. A doctor by training, to overcome the suspicion created by her family circumstances, Hong endured two waves of “re-education” and internal exile, forced to work in some of the most desperately poor, remote areas of the country. Ambitious, determined, and resourceful, both women faced morally fraught decisions as they forged careers and families in the midst of political and social upheaval. Jun established one of U.S.-allied Taiwan’s most important trading companies. Hong became one of the most celebrated doctors in China, appearing on national media and honored for her dedication to medicine. Niece to both sisters, linguist and East Asian scholar Zhuqing Li tells her aunts’ story for the first time, honoring her family’s history with sympathy and grace. Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden is a window into the lives of women in twentieth-century China, a time of traumatic change and unparalleled resilience. In this riveting and deeply personal account, Li confronts the bitter political rivals of mainland China and Taiwan with elegance and unique insight, while celebrating her aunts’ remarkable legacies.

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Tin Can Titans - John Wukovits Cover Art

Tin Can Titans

Tin Can Titans The Heroic Men and Ships of World War II's Most Decorated Navy Destroyer Squadron by John Wukovits

An epic narrative of World War II naval action that brings to life the sailors and exploits of the war's most decorated destroyer squadron. When Admiral William Halsey selected Destroyer Squadron 21 (Desron 21) to lead his victorious ships into Tokyo Bay to accept the Japanese surrender, it was the most battle-hardened US naval squadron of the war. But it was not the squadron of ships that had accumulated such an inspiring resume; it was the people serving aboard them. Sailors, not metallic superstructures and hulls, had won the battles and become the stuff of legend. Men like Commander Donald MacDonald, skipper of the USS O'Bannon, who became the most decorated naval officer of the Pacific war; Lieutenant Hugh Barr Miller, who survived his ship's sinking and waged a one-man battle against the enemy while stranded on a Japanese-occupied island; and Doctor Dow "Doc" Ransom, the beloved physician of the USS La Vallette, who combined a mixture of humor and medical expertise to treat his patients at sea, epitomize the sacrifices made by all the men and women of World War II. Through diaries, personal interviews with survivors, and letters written to and by the crews during the war, preeminent historian of the Pacific theater John Wukovits brings to life the human story of the squadron that bested the Japanese in the Pacific and helped take the war to Tokyo.

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Brief History of Indonesia - Tim Hannigan Cover Art

Brief History of Indonesia

Brief History of Indonesia Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of Southeast Asia's Largest Nation by Tim 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.

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The Silk Road - Valerie Hansen Cover Art

The Silk Road

The Silk Road A New History by Valerie Hansen

The Silk Road is as iconic in world history as the Colossus of Rhodes or the Suez Canal. But what was it, exactly? It conjures up a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track, reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different--and far more interesting--as revealed in this new history. In The Silk Road, Valerie Hansen describes the remarkable archeological finds that revolutionize our understanding of these trade routes. For centuries, key records remained hidden--sometimes deliberately buried by bureaucrats for safe keeping. But the sands of the Taklamakan Desert have revealed fascinating material, sometimes preserved by illiterate locals who recycled official documents to make insoles for shoes or garments for the dead. Hansen explores seven oases along the road, from Xi'an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism. There was no single, continuous road, but a chain of markets that traded between east and west. China and the Roman Empire had very little direct trade. China's main partners were the peoples of modern-day Iran, whose tombs in China reveal much about their Zoroastrian beliefs. Silk was not the most important good on the road; paper, invented in China before Julius Caesar was born, had a bigger impact in Europe, while metals, spices, and glass were just as important as silk. Perhaps most significant of all was the road's transmission of ideas, technologies, and artistic motifs. The Silk Road is a fascinating story of archeological discovery, cultural transmission, and the intricate chains across Central Asia and China.

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Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea - Oscar E. Gilbert Cover Art

Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea

Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea by Oscar E. Gilbert

An award-winning military historian delivers “an excellent read” on tank combat in the Forgotten War based on interviews with veterans who were there (MAFVA.org). The outbreak of the Korean conflict caught America (and the Marine Corps) unprepared. The Corps' salvation was the existence of its Organized Reserve (an organization rich in veterans of the fighting in World War II), the availability of modern equipment in storage and, as always, the bravery, initiative, and adaptability of individual Marines.   In this follow-up to his enormously successful Marine Tank Battles in the Pacific , Oscar Gilbert presents an equally exhaustive and detailed account of the little-known Marine tank engagements in Korea, supported by forty-eight photographs, eight original maps, and dozens of survivor interviews.   Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea details every action, from the valiant defense at Pusan and the bitter battles of the Chosin Reservoir, to the grinding and bloody stalemate along the Jamestown Line. Many of these stories are presented here for the first time, such as the unique role played by tanks in the destruction of the ill-fated Task Force Drysdale, how Marine armor played a key role in the defense of Hagaru, and how a lone tank made it to Yudamni and then led the breakout across the high Toktong Pass.   Marine tankers—individually and as an organization—met every challenge posed by this vicious, protracted, and forgotten war. It is a story of bravery and fortitude you will never forget.

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A Brief History of Japan - Jonathan Clements Cover Art

A Brief History of Japan

A Brief History of Japan Samurai, Shogun and Zen: The Extraordinary Story of the Land of the Rising Sun by Jonathan 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

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The Rising Sun - John Toland Cover Art

The Rising Sun

The Rising Sun The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945 by John Toland

“[ The Rising Sun ] is quite possibly the most readable, yet informative account of the Pacific war.”— Chicago Sun-Times This Pulitzer Prize–winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Told from the Japanese perspective, The Rising Sun is, in the author’s words, “a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened—muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox.” In weaving together the historical facts and human drama leading up to and culminating in the war in the Pacific, Toland crafts a riveting and unbiased narrative history. In his Foreword, Toland says that if we are to draw any conclusion from The Rising Sun , it is “that there are no simple lessons in history, that it is human nature that repeats itself, not history.” “Unbelievably rich . . . readable and exciting . . .The best parts of [Toland’s] book are not the battle scenes but the intimate view he gives of the highest reaches of Tokyo politics.”— Newsweek

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明朝那些事儿(上) - 当年明月 Cover Art

明朝那些事儿(上)

明朝那些事儿(上) by 当年明月

我早就从一些年轻朋友的口中听说有一部《明朝那些事儿》,听说它在网上受到了广泛的欢迎。朋友们问我,你怎么看待这种写法呢?我说,历史是千百万人的历史,是大家的历史,每个人都有解读历史的权力。而且,从来每个人由于立场和学养的不同,所看到的历史都是不同的。我们既不能要求历史写作的手法千人一面,又不能要求对历史的结论定于一尊。如同我们听歌唱,无论是学院派的美声的、民族的,还是山野的原生态的,都有存在的价值。其根本在于歌唱者的态度是严肃的,所献出的是精品。换句话说,无论是学院派的美声的、民族的,还是山野的原生态的歌唱者,如果其态度是不严肃的,所献出的不是精品,也是得不到欢迎的。 作者当年明月说:自己的写法是“以史料为基础,以年代和具体人物为主线,并加入了小说的笔法和对人物的心理分析,以及对当时政治经济制度的一些评价”,并且说,其作品“不是小说,不是史书”,“姑且叫做《明札记》”。这的确是别开生面的,是一种创造。我热情地支持这种探索和创造!期待他把这三百年写完。 让我们以更为轻松的状态走进历史吧。 作者当年明月写轻松的历史,其实并不轻松;大家轻松地读历史,希望真的很轻松。

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Bushido - Tsunetomo Yamamoto Cover Art

Bushido

Bushido The Way of the Samurai by Tsunetomo Yamamoto

In eighteenth-century Japan, Tsunetomo Yamamoto created the Hagakure, a document that served as the basis for samurai warrior behavior. Its guiding principles greatly influenced the Japanese ruling class and shaped the underlying character of the Japanese psyche, from businessmen to soldiers. Bushido is the first English translation of this work. It provides a powerful message aimed at the mind and spirit of the samurai warrior. With Bushido, one can better put into perspective Japan’s historical path.

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Last Stand at Khe Sanh - Gregg Jones Cover Art

Last Stand at Khe Sanh

Last Stand at Khe Sanh The U.S. Marines' Finest Hour in Vietnam by Gregg Jones

In a remote mountain stronghold in 1968, six thousand US Marines awoke one January morning to find themselves surrounded by 20,000 enemy troops. Their only road to the coast was cut, and bad weather and enemy fire threatened their fragile air lifeline. The siege of Khe Sanh-the Vietnam War's epic confrontation-was under way. For seventy-seven days, the Marines and a contingent of US Army Special Forces endured artillery barrages, sniper fire, ground assaults, and ambushes. Air Force, Marine, and Navy pilots braved perilous flying conditions to deliver supplies, evacuate casualties, and stem the North Vietnamese Army's onslaught. As President Lyndon B. Johnson weighed the use of tactical nuclear weapons, Americans watched the shocking drama unfold on nightly newscasts. Through it all, the bloodied defenders of Khe Sanh held firm and prepared for an Alamo-like last stand. Now, Gregg Jones takes readers into the trenches and bunkers at Khe Sanh to tell the story of this extraordinary moment in American history. Last Stand at Khe Sanh captures the exceptional courage and brotherhood that sustained the American fighting men throughout the ordeal. It brings to life an unforgettable cast of characters-young high school dropouts and rootless rebels in search of John Wayne glory; grizzled Korean War veterans; daredevil pilots; gritty platoon leaders and company commanders; and courageous Navy surgeons who volunteered to serve in combat with the storied Marines. Drawing on in-depth interviews with siege survivors, thousands of pages of archival documents, and scores of oral history accounts, Gregg Jones delivers a poignant and heart-pounding narrative worthy of the heroic defense of Khe Sanh.

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The Vietnam War - Mark Atwood Lawrence Cover Art

The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War A Concise International History by Mark Atwood Lawrence

The Vietnam War remains a topic of extraordinary interest, not least because of striking parallels between that conflict and more recent fighting in the Middle East. In The Vietnam War, Mark Atwood Lawrence draws upon the latest research in archives around the world to offer readers a superb account of a key moment in U.S. as well as global history. While focusing on American involvement between 1965 and 1975, Lawrence offers an unprecedentedly complete picture of all sides of the war, notably by examining the motives that drove the Vietnamese communists and their foreign allies. Moreover, the book carefully considers both the long- and short-term origins of the war. Lawrence examines the rise of Vietnamese communism in the early twentieth century and reveals how Cold War anxieties of the 1940s and 1950s set the United States on the road to intervention. Of course, the heart of the book covers the "American war," ranging from the overthrow of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem to the impact of the Tet Offensive on American public opinion, Lyndon Johnson's withdrawal from the 1968 presidential race, Richard Nixon's expansion of the war into Cambodia and Laos, and the problematic peace agreement of 1973, which ended American military involvement. Finally, the book explores the complex aftermath of the war--its enduring legacy in American books, film, and political debate, as well as Vietnam's struggles with severe social and economic problems. A compact and authoritative primer on an intensely relevant topic, this well-researched and engaging volume offers an invaluable overview of the Vietnam War.

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The Book of Yokai - Michael Dylan Foster Cover Art

The Book of Yokai

The Book of Yokai Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore by Michael Dylan Foster

A lively excursion into Japanese folklore and its ever-expanding influence on global popular culture through the concept of yokai . Monsters, ghosts, fantastic beings, and supernatural phenomena of all sorts haunt the folklore and popular culture of Japan. Broadly labeled yokai, these creatures come in infinite shapes and sizes, from tengu mountain goblins and kappa water spirits to shape-shifting foxes and long-tongued ceiling-lickers. Currently popular in anime, manga, film, and computer games, many yokai originated in local legends, folktales, and regional ghost stories. Drawing on years of research in Japan, Michael Dylan Foster unpacks the history and cultural context of yokai, tracing their roots, interpreting their meanings, and introducing people who have hunted them through the ages. In this delightful and accessible narrative, readers will explore the roles played by these mysterious beings within Japanese culture and will also learn of their abundance and variety through detailed entries, some with original illustrations, on more than fifty individual creatures. The Book of Yokai  invites readers to examine how people create, transmit, and collect folklore, and how they make sense of the mysteries in the world around them. By exploring yokai as a concept, we can better understand broader processes of tradition, innovation, storytelling, and individual and communal creativity.  

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Tam Quốc Diễn Nghĩa - Trí Việt First News Cover Art

Tam Quốc Diễn Nghĩa

Tam Quốc Diễn Nghĩa by Trí Việt First News

Tam quốc diễn nghĩa còn có tên khác là Tam quốc, Tam quốc chí thông tục diễn nghĩa, là một tiểu thuyết lịch sử Trung Quốc được La Quán Trung viết vào thế kỷ 14 kể về thời kỳ hỗn loạn Tam Quốc (220-280). Tiểu thuyết này được xem là một trong bốn tác phẩm cổ điển hay nhất của văn học Trung Quốc. Theo trí tưởng tượng của tác giả truyện Trọng Tương vấn Hán thì Hán Cao Tổ đã đầu thai thành hoàng đế cuối cùng nhà Hán là Hán Hiến Đế, và ba vị tướng được luân kiếp thành vua ba nước khác nhau: Hàn Tín hoá thành Tào Tháo; Bành Việt hoá thành Lưu Bị; và Anh Bố thành Tôn Quyền. Lần này hoàng đế nhà Hán phải chịu sự trừng phạt qua bàn tay Tào Tháo. Bộ Tam quốc diễn nghĩa của La Quán Trung trong quá khứ có tới 20 bản. Tiểu thuyết chương hồi Tam Quốc diễn nghĩa 120 hồi mà ngày nay nhiều người trong chúng ta biết đến do La Quán Trung viết ra vào khoảng những năm 1330 và 1400 (khoảng cuối nhà Nguyên đầu nhà Minh), do cha con nhà phê bình Mao Tôn Cương đời nhà Minh chỉnh lý, hoàn thành vào khoảng năm 1522. Tiểu thuyết này được viết bằng thứ chữ Hán dễ đọc và được xem là tác phẩm chuẩn mực trong suốt 300 năm. La Quán Trung đã sử dụng phần lớn tư liệu lịch sử trong Biên niên sử Tam Quốc do Trần Thọ biên soạn bao gồm các sự kiện từ thời Loạn Khăn Vàng vào năm 184 cho tới lúc thống nhất ba nước dưới thời nhà Tấn vào năm 280. La Quán Trung đã kết hợp những kiến thức lịch sử này cùng với tài năng kể chuyện hấp dẫn của mình để tạo ra một loạt tính cách nhân vật tiêu biểu. Tam quốc diễn nghĩa là câu chuyện gần một trăm năm, sự việc nhiều nhưng không rối là do ngòi bút có khuynh hướng của La Quán Trung. Tác giả đứng về phía Lưu Thục lên án Tào Ngụy, còn Tôn Ngô chỉ là lực lượng trung gian. Mặc dù còn dấu ấn khá đậm của tư tưởng chính thống và sự thực lịch sử không hẳn như thế, nhưng truyền thuyết “ủng Lưu phản Tào” là khuynh hướng vốn có của hầu hết các truyền thuyết về thời Tam Quốc lưu hành trong nhân dân. Nó phản ánh nguyện vọng có một “ông vua tốt” biết thương dân và vì dân, một triều đình thực hiện “nhân chính”, một đất nước thống nhất và hoà bình. Tam quốc diễn nghĩa là tiểu thuyết sử thi nên giọng điệu chủ yếu là ca ngợi hay châm biếm hài hước để phê phán. Khoa trương phóng đại để ca ngợi những kỳ tích của các anh hùng hảo hán như phóng đại những khó khăn hiểm trở để thử thách tài năng võ nghệ của các anh hùng. Các nhân vật luôn có vóc dáng khác người, những hành động phi thường và tâm hồn họ cũng khác với người thường. Có lẽ vì thế, có thể có nhiều trận đánh ác liệt tử vong rất nhiều nhưng không gây không khí bi thảm. Ngôn ngữ của Tam quốc diễn nghĩa là sự kết hợp giữa văn ngôn và bạch thoại, sử dụng được ngôn từ thông dụng trong nhân dân. Ngôn ngữ kể lấn át ngôn ngữ miêu tả, và trong ngôn ngữ miêu tả rất ít sử dụng định ngữ và tính từ. Người Trung Quốc gọi loại miêu tả ngắn gọn như vậy là lối bạch miêu, nhưng nhờ lối kể chuyện khéo léo, đối thoại sinh động và sử dụng rộng rãi khẩu ngữ, các truyện cổ tích, truyền thuyết, thần thoại, chuyện lịch sử v.v... nên đã tạo cho tác phẩm một vẻ đẹp hấp dẫn vừa bác học và dân dã.

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A Vietnam War Reader - Michael H. Hunt Cover Art

A Vietnam War Reader

A Vietnam War Reader A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives by Michael H. Hunt

An essential new resource for students and teachers of the Vietnam War, this concise collection of primary sources opens a valuable window on an extraordinarily complex conflict. The materials gathered here, from both the American and Vietnamese sides, remind readers that the conflict touched the lives of many people in a wide range of social and political situations and spanned a good deal more time than the decade of direct U.S. combat. Indeed, the U.S. war was but one phase in a string of conflicts that varied significantly in character and geography. Michael Hunt brings together the views of the conflict's disparate players--from Communist leaders, Vietnamese peasants, Saigon loyalists, and North Vietnamese soldiers to U.S. policymakers, soldiers, and critics of the war. By allowing the participants to speak, this volume encourages readers to formulate their own historically grounded understanding of a still controversial struggle.

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This Could Be Home : Raffles Hotel and the City of Tomorrow - Pico Iyer Cover Art

This Could Be Home : Raffles Hotel and the City of Tomorrow

This Could Be Home : Raffles Hotel and the City of Tomorrow by Pico Iyer

No hotel is as inseparably linked to its city than Raffles Hotel, writes Pico Iyer, arguably the world’s greatest travel writer alive. Drawing upon numerous stays in Raffles over 35 years and the fast-ascending city all around it, Iyer—a lifelong global soul—reflects on the “Grand Old Lady’s” literary legacy and its mark on writers everywhere. In the process, he finds new ways of considering not just yesterday, but tomorrow. How have Singapore and its white-stucco monument evolved to meet the needs of a shifting world? In this compact volume, Iyer pulls back the curtains on a personal, thoughtful and surprising look at places we too often take for granted.

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A History of India - Romila Thapar Cover Art

A History of India

A History of India by Romila Thapar

A history of India upto 1300 AD introducing the beginnings of India's cultural dynamics

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The Last Days of Old Beijing - Michael Meyer Cover Art

The Last Days of Old Beijing

The Last Days of Old Beijing Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed by Michael Meyer

Journalist Michael Meyer has spent his adult life in China, first in a small village as a Peace Corps volunteer, the last decade in Beijing--where he has witnessed the extraordinary transformation the country has experienced in that time. For the past two years he has been completely immersed in the ancient city, living on one of its famed hutong in a century-old courtyard home he shares with several families, teaching English at a local elementary school--while all around him "progress" closes in as the neighborhood is methodically destroyed to make way for high-rise buildings, shopping malls, and other symbols of modern, urban life. The city, he shows, has been demolished many times before; however, he writes, "the epitaph for Beijing will read: born 1280, died 2008...what emperors, warlords, Japanese invaders, and Communist planners couldn't eradicate, the market economy can." The Last Days of Old Beijing tells the story of this historic city from the inside out-through the eyes of those whose lives are in the balance: the Widow who takes care of Meyer; his students and fellow teachers, the first-ever description of what goes on in a Chinese public school; the local historian who rallies against the government. The tension of preservation vs. modernization--the question of what, in an ancient civilization, counts as heritage, and what happens when a billion people want to live the way Americans do--suffuse Meyer's story.

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Land of Strangers - Eric Schluessel Cover Art

Land of Strangers

Land of Strangers The Civilizing Project in Qing Central Asia by Eric Schluessel

At the close of the nineteenth century, near the end of the Qing empire, Confucian revivalists from central China gained control of the Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang, or East Turkestan. There they undertook a program to transform Turkic-speaking Muslims into Chinese-speaking Confucians, seeking to bind this population and their homeland to the Chinese cultural and political realm. Instead of assimilation, divisions between communities only deepened, resulting in a profound estrangement that continues to this day. In Land of Strangers , Eric Schluessel explores this encounter between Chinese power and a Muslim society through the struggles of ordinary people in the oasis of Turpan. He follows the stories of families divided by war, women desperate to survive, children unsure where they belong, and many others to reveal the human consequences of a bloody conflict and the more insidious violence of reconstruction. Schluessel traces the emergence of new struggles around essential questions of identity, showing how religious and linguistic differences converged into ethnic labels. Reading across local archives and manuscript accounts in the Chinese and Chaghatay languages, he recasts the attempted transformation of Xinjiang as a distinctly Chinese form of colonialism. At a time when understanding the roots of the modern relationship between Uyghurs and China has taken on new urgency, Land of Strangers illuminates a crucial moment of social and cultural change in this dark period of Xinjiang’s past.

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Summary of Desmond Shum's Red Roulette - Slingshot Books Cover Art

Summary of Desmond Shum's Red Roulette

Summary of Desmond Shum's Red Roulette by Slingshot Books

Excerpt From Summary of Desmond Shum's Red Roulette #1 The author’s wife, Whitney Duan, had disappeared in September 2017, and it seemed as though she’d been vaporized. No one knew anything about her whereabouts. #2 In China, every relationship is based on calculations of benefit and loss.

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A History of Korea - Jinwung Kim Cover Art

A History of Korea

A History of Korea From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict by Jinwung Kim

A history of the divided region, from prehistoric times to present day, examining at political, social, cultural, economic, and diplomatic developments. Contemporary North and South Korea are nations of radical contrasts: one a bellicose totalitarian state with a failing economy; the other a peaceful democracy with a strong economy. Yet their people share a common history that extends back more than three thousand years. In this comprehensive new history of Korea from the prehistoric era to the present day, Jinwung Kim recounts the rich and fascinating story of the political, social, cultural, economic, and diplomatic developments in Korea’s long march to the present. He provides a detailed account of the origins of the Korean people and language and the founding of the first walled-town states, along with the advanced civilization that existed in the ancient land of “Unified Silla.” Clarifying the often complex history of the Three Kingdoms Period, Kim chronicles the five-century long history of the Choson dynasty, which left a deep impression on Korean culture. From the beginning, China has loomed large in the history of Korea, from the earliest times when the tribes that would eventually make up the Korean nation roamed the vast plains of Manchuria and against whom Korea would soon define itself. Japan, too, has played an important role in Korean history, particularly in the 20th century; Kim tells this story as well, including the conflicts that led to the current divided state. The first detailed overview of Korean history in nearly a quarter century, this volume will enlighten a new generation of students eager to understand this contested region of Asia. “Using the latest sources, including recently declassified Communist documents, Jinwung Kim’s book holds promise of becoming the textbook of choice. Benefiting from his direct and intimate knowledge of the country, he writes with great clarity, providing rich and interesting descriptions of political, social, cultural, economic, and diplomatic developments throughout the history of Korea.” —James I. Matray, California State University, Chico “A clearly written, comprehensive, and impressively detailed work.” — Journal of Asian Studies

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Mandalay To Momien - Declan Watts Cover Art

Mandalay To Momien

Mandalay To Momien by Declan Watts

 For a few years preceding to the date of the excursion of which the development is narrated in those pages, the eye of British traders at domestic and in India were directed to the possibility of an overland change with Western China. Most in particular did this hobby the economic network of Rangoon, the capital of British Burma, and the port of the terrific water toll road of the Irawady, boasting a change the yearly cost of which had elevated in fifteen years to £2,500,000. The avoidance of the lengthy and perilous voyage via way of the Straits and Indian Archipelago and a right away interchange of our manufactures for the goods of the wealthy provinces of Yunnan and Sz-chuen would possibly nicely appear to be benefits which might richly pay off nearly any efforts to perform this cause.

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La République populaire de Chine - Gilles Guiheux Cover Art

La République populaire de Chine

La République populaire de Chine Histoire générale de la Chine (1949 à nos jours) by Gilles Guiheux

En 1949, bien qu’elle se proclame en rupture radicale vis-à-vis des régimes qui l’ont précédée, la République populaire de Chine reprend à son compte les objectifs formulés par les réformateurs et les révolutionnaires de la première moitié du XXe siècle. La différence tient aux moyens mobilisés pour y parvenir. Dans les faits, la pratique du totalitarisme par Mao Zedong n’entraînera pas les transformations annoncées. Il lègue une société affaiblie et fracturée. Il faut attendre le tournant des années 1980 pour que la promesse de modernisation soit enfin tenue. Les réformes engagent alors le pays dans des mutations plus rapides qu’aucune société humaine n’en a jamais connues. Industrialisation, urbanisation, bureaucratisation, globalisation, migrations ne sont pourtant pas des phénomènes propres à la Chine ; s’ils y prennent une proportion hors du commun, ils s’éclairent par le comparatisme. Pour conduire cette démonstration, l’ouvrage s’appuie sur les acquis les plus récents de la recherche en sciences sociales alors que l’enquête de terrain est désormais possible et les archives pour partie ouvertes.

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The Great Partition - Yasmin Khan Cover Art

The Great Partition

The Great Partition The Making of India and Pakistan, New Edition by Yasmin Khan

A reappraisal of the tumultuous Partition and how it ignited long-standing animosities between India and Pakistan This new edition of Yasmin Khan’s reappraisal of the tumultuous India-Pakistan Partition features an introduction reflecting on the latest research and on ways in which commemoration of the Partition has changed, and considers the Partition in light of the current refugee crisis.   Reviews of the first edition:   “A riveting book on this terrible story.”— Economist   “Unsparing. . . . Provocative and painful.”— Times (London)   “Many histories of Partition focus solely on the elite policy makers. Yasmin Khan’s empathetic account gives a great insight into the hopes, dreams, and fears of the millions affected by it.”—Owen Bennett Jones, BBC

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Formosa Betrayed - George H. Kerr Cover Art

Formosa Betrayed

Formosa Betrayed by George H. Kerr

Formosa Betrayed is a detailed, impassioned account of Chinese Nationalist (KMT) misrule that remains the most important English-language book ever written about Taiwan. Author George H. Kerr lived in Taiwan in the late 1930s, when the island was a colony of Japan. During the war, he worked for the U.S. Navy as a Taiwan expert. From 1945 to 1947, Kerr served as vice consul of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Taipei, where he was an eyewitness to the February 28 Massacre and the subsequent mass arrests and executions. As well as chronicling KMT repression during the early years of the White Terror, Kerr documents widespread corruption, showing how the island was systematically looted. The “betrayed” in the title refers not only to the crushing disappointment Taiwanese felt when they realized KMT rule was worse than that of the Japanese but also to the culpability of the American government. The United States was in large part responsible for handing Taiwan over to the Nationalists and helping them maintain their grip on power.  Formosa Betrayed has served as a foundational text for generations of Taiwanese democracy and independence activists. It had an explosive effect among overseas Taiwanese students; for many, the book was their first encounter in print with their country’s dark, forbidden history. A 1974 Chinese-language translation increased its impact still more. It is a powerful classic that has withstood the test of time, a must-read book that will change the way you look at Taiwan.

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In Mortal Combat - John Toland Cover Art

In Mortal Combat

In Mortal Combat Korea, 1950–1953 by John Toland

A history of the Korean War with soldier’s-eye views from both sides, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Rising Sun and Infamy .  Pulitzer Prize–winning author John Toland reports on the Korean War in a revolutionary way in this thoroughly researched and riveting book. Toland pored over military archives and was the first person to gain access to previously undisclosed Chinese records, which allowed him to investigate Chairman Mao’s direct involvement in the conflict. Toland supplements his captivating history with in-depth interviews with more than two hundred American soldiers, as well as North Korean, South Korean, and Chinese combatants, plus dozens of poignant photographs, bringing those who fought to vivid life and honoring the memory of those lost.   In Mortal Combat is comprehensive in it discussion of events deemed controversial, such as American brutality against Korean civilians and allegations of American use of biological warfare. Toland tells the dramatic account of the Korean War from start to finish, from the appalling experience of its POWs to Mao’s prediction of MacArthur’s Inchon invasion.   Toland’s account of the “forgotten war” is a must-read for any history aficionado.

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三国志(简体中文版) - 陈寿 Cover Art

三国志(简体中文版)

三国志(简体中文版) 中华传世珍藏古典文库 by 陈寿

《三国志》是陈寿所著的一部中华传世珍藏的国学经典佳作,在海内外广为阅读和流传,值得细细品味。 本书为简体中文版,全本65回,由艺雅出版社精心制作。艺雅出版社还分别提供其繁体中文版与简繁体对照版,欢迎大家下载阅读。

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Give Me Tomorrow - Patrick K. O'Donnell Cover Art

Give Me Tomorrow

Give Me Tomorrow The Korean War's Greatest Untold Story -- The Epic Stand of the Marines of George Company by Patrick K. O'Donnell

An epic story of valor and sacrifice by a legendary Marine company in the Korean War brought to gripping, cinematic light by an acclaimed historian ("Gives the brave Marines of George Company long overdue recognition"-- New York Post ) "What would you want if you could have any wish?" asked the photojournalist of the haggard, bloodied Marine before him. The Marine gaped at his interviewer. The photographer snapped his picture, which became the iconic Korean War image featured on this book's jacket. "Give me tomorrow," he said at last. After nearly four months of continuous and agonizing combat on the battlefields of Korea, such a simple request seemed impossible. For many men of George Company, or "Bloody George" as they were known-one of the Forgotten War's most decorated yet unrecognized companies-it was a wish that would not come true. This is the untold story of "Bloody George," a Marine company formed quickly to answer its nation's call to duty in 1950. This small band of men-a colorful cast of characters, including a Native American fighting to earn his honor as a warrior, a Southern boy from Tennessee at odds with a Northern blue-blood reporter-turned-Marine, and a pair of twins who exemplified to the group the true meaning of brotherhood-were mostly green troops who had been rushed through training to fill America's urgent need on the Korean front. They would find themselves at the tip of the spear in some of the Korean War's bloodiest battles. After storming ashore at Inchon and fighting house-to-house in Seoul, George Company, one of America's last units in reserve, found itself on the frozen tundra of the Chosin Reservoir facing elements of an entire division of Chinese troops. They didn't realize it then, but they were soon to become crucial to the battle-modern-day Spartans called upon to hold off ten times their number. Give Me Tomorrow is their unforgettable story of bravery and courage. Thoroughly researched and vividly told, Give Me Tomorrow is fitting testament to the heroic deeds of George Company. They will never again be forgotten.

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The Odyssey of Echo Company - Doug Stanton Cover Art

The Odyssey of Echo Company

The Odyssey of Echo Company The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War by Doug Stanton

SELECTED BY MILITARY TIMES AS A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR * SELECTED BY THE SOCIETY OF MIDLAND AUTHORS’ AS THE BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR The New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way and Horse Soldiers shares the powerful account of an American army platoon fighting for survival during the Vietnam War in “an important book….not just a battle story—it’s also about the home front” (The Today show). On January 31, 1968, as many as 100,000 guerilla fighters and soldiers in the North Vietnamese Army attacked thirty-six cities throughout South Vietnam, hoping to dislodge American forces during one of the vital turning points of the Vietnam War. Alongside other young American soldiers in an Army reconnaissance platoon (Echo Company, 1/501) of the 101st Airborne Division, Stanley Parker, the nineteen-year-old son of a Texan ironworker, was suddenly thrust into savage combat, having been in-country only a few weeks. As Stan and his platoon-mates, many of whom had enlisted in the Army, eager to become paratroopers, moved from hot zone to hot zone, the extreme physical and mental stresses of Echo Company’s day-to-day existence, involving ambushes and attacks, grueling machine-gun battles, and impossibly dangerous rescues of wounded comrades, pushed them all to their limits and forged them into a lifelong brotherhood. The war became their fight for survival. When they came home, some encountered a bitterly divided country that didn’t understand what they had survived. Returning to the small farms, beach towns, and big cities where they grew up, many of the men in the platoon fell silent, knowing that few of their countrymen wanted to hear the stories they lived to tell—until now. Based on interviews, personal letters, and Army after-action reports, The Odyssey of Echo Company recounts the searing tale of wartime service and homecoming of ordinary young American men in an extraordinary time and confirms Doug Stanton’s prominence as an unparalleled storyteller of our age.

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Forbidden Nation - Jonathan Manthorpe Cover Art

Forbidden Nation

Forbidden Nation A History of Taiwan by Jonathan Manthorpe

For over 400 years, Taiwan has suffered at the hands of multiple colonial powers, but it has now entered the decade when its independence will be won or lost. At the heart of Taiwan's story is the curse of geography that placed the island on the strategic cusp between the Far East and Southeast Asia and made it the guardian of some of the world's most lucrative trade routes. It is the story of the dogged determination of a courageous people to overcome every obstacle thrown in their path. Forbidden Nation tells the dramatic story of the island, its people, and what brought them to this moment when their future will be decided.

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Viet Nam - Ben Kiernan Cover Art

Viet Nam

Viet Nam A History from Earliest Times to the Present by Ben Kiernan

For many Westerners, the name Vietnam evokes images of a bloody televised American war that generated a firestorm of protest and brought conflict into their living rooms. In his sweeping account, Ben Kiernan broadens this vision by narrating the rich history of the peoples who have inhabited the land now known as Viet Nam over the past three thousand years. Despite the tragedies of the American-Vietnamese conflict, Viet Nam has always been much more than a war. Its long history had been characterized by the frequent rise and fall of different political formations, from ancient chiefdoms to imperial provinces, from independent kingdoms to divided regions, civil wars, French colonies, and modern republics. In addition to dramatic political transformations, the region has been shaped by its environment, changing climate, and the critical importance of water, with rivers, deltas, and a long coastline facilitating agricultural patterns, trade, and communications. Kiernan weaves together the many narrative strands of Viet Nam's multi-ethnic populations, including the Chams, Khmers, and Vietnamese, and its multi-religious heritage, from local spirit cults to Buddhism, Confucianism, and Catholicism. He emphasizes the peoples' interactions over the millennia with foreigners, particularly their neighbors in China and Southeast Asia, in engagements ranging from military conflict to linguistic and cultural influences. He sets the tumultuous modern period--marked by French and Japanese occupation, anticolonial nationalism, the American-Vietnamese war, and communist victory--against the continuities evident in the deeper history of the people's relationships with the lands where they have lived. In contemporary times, he explores this one-party state's transformation into a global trading nation, the country's tense diplomatic relationship with China and developing partnership with the United States in maintaining Southeast Asia's regional security, and its uncertain prospects for democracy. Written by a leading scholar of Southeast Asia, Viet Nam presents an authoritative history of an ancient land.

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Marine Corps Tank Battles in Vietnam - Oscar E. Gilbert Cover Art

Marine Corps Tank Battles in Vietnam

Marine Corps Tank Battles in Vietnam by Oscar E. Gilbert

The author of Tanks in Hell tracks ten years of tank warfare in Vietnam, combining firsthand accounts from veterans with analysis of tactics and strategy. In 1965 the large, loud, and highly visible tanks of 3rd Platoon, B Company, 3rd Tank Battalion landed across a beach near Da Nang, drawing unwelcome attention to America’s first, almost covert, commitment of ground troops in South Vietnam. As the Marine Corps presence grew inexorably, the 1st and 3rd Tank Battalions, as well as elements of the reactivated 5th Tank Battalion, were committed to the conflict. For the United States Marine Corps, the protracted and bloody struggle was marked by controversy, but for Marine Corps tankers it was marked by bitter frustration as they saw their own high levels of command turn their backs on some of the hardest-won lessons of tank-infantry cooperation learned in the Pacific War and in Korea. Nevertheless, like good Marines, the officers and enlisted men of the tank battalions sought out the enemy in the sand dunes, jungles, mountains, paddy fields, tiny villages, and ancient cities of Vietnam. Young Marine tankers fresh out of training, and cynical veterans of the Pacific War and Korea, battled two enemies. The battle-hardened Viet Cong were masters of the art of striking hard, then slipping away to fight another day. The highly motivated troops of the North Vietnamese Army, equipped with long-range artillery and able to flee across nearby borders into sanctuaries where the Marines were forbidden to follow, engaged the Marines in brutal conventional combat. Both foes were equipped with modern anti-tank weapons, and sought out the tanks as valuable symbolic targets. It was a brutal and schizophrenic war, with no front and no rear, absolutely no respite from constant danger, against a merciless foe hidden among a helpless civilian population. Some of the duties the tankers were called upon to perform were long familiar, as they provided firepower and mobility for the suffering infantry in a never-ending succession of search and destroy operations, conducted amphibious landings, and added their heavy guns to the artillery in fire support missions. Under constant threat of ambushes and huge command-detonated mines that could obliterate both tank and crew in an instant, the tankers escorted vital supply convoys, and guarded the engineers who built and maintained the roads. In their “spare time” the tankers guarded lonely bridges and isolated outposts for weeks on end, patrolled on foot to seek out the Viet Cong, operated roadblocks and ambushes, shot up boats to interdict the enemy’s supply lines, and worked in the villages and hamlets to better the lives of the brutalized civilians. To the bitter end—despite the harsh conditions of climate and terrain, confusion, endless savage and debilitating combat, and ultimate frustration as their own nation turned against the war—the Marine tankers routinely demonstrated the versatility, dedication to duty, and matchless courage that Americans have come to expect of their Marines.

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China - Susan L. Shirk Cover Art

China

China How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise by Susan L. Shirk

Once a sleeping giant, China today is the world's fastest growing economy--the leading manufacturer of cell phones, laptop computers, and digital cameras--a dramatic turn-around that alarms many Westerners. But in China: The Fragile Superpower, Susan L. Shirk opens up the black box of Chinese politics and finds that the real danger lies elsewhere--not in China's astonishing growth, but in the deep insecurity of its leaders. China's leaders face a troubling paradox: the more developed and prosperous the country becomes, the more insecure and threatened they feel. Shirk, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for China, knows many of today's Chinese rulers personally and has studied them for three decades. She offers invaluable insight into how they think--and what they fear. In this revealing book, readers see the world through the eyes of men like President Hu Jintao and former President Jiang Zemin. We discover a fragile communist regime desperate to survive in a society turned upside down by miraculous economic growth and a stunning new openness to the greater world. Indeed, ever since the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and the fall of communism in the Soviet Union, Chinese leaders have been haunted by the fear that their days in power are numbered. Theirs is a regime afraid of its own citizens, and this fear motivates many of their decisions when dealing with the U.S. and other foreign nations. In particular, the fervent nationalism of the Chinese people, combined with their passionate resentment of Japan and attachment to Taiwan, have made relations with these two regions a minefield. It is here, Shirk concludes, in the tangled interactions between Japan, Taiwan, China, and the United States, that the greatest danger lies. Shirk argues that rising powers such as China tend to provoke wars in large part because other countries mishandle them. Unless we understand China's brittle internal politics and the fears that motivate its leaders, we face the very real possibility of avoidable conflict with China. This book provides that understanding.

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Okinawa: The History of an Island People - George H. Kerr Cover Art

Okinawa: The History of an Island People

Okinawa: The History of an Island People by George H. Kerr

"The first full-length monograph on the history of the Ryukyu Islands in any Western language…a standard work."-- Pacific Affairs Okinawa: The History of an Island People is the definitive book available in English on the history of Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands, and an influential scholarly work in the field of Japanese studies. The histories of Japan, Okinawa and the entire Pacific region are crucially intertwined; therefore the review of this fascinating chain of islands is crucial to understanding all of East Asia. Few people can point to Okinawa on a map, yet this tiny island sitting between China and Japan is a hub for international affairs. The island was, and continues to be, one of the most crucial Asian nerve centers in all U.S. strategic defense. Ninety percent of all U.S. military forces in Japan are located on Okinawa, and more than 500,000 military personnel and their families have lived there. In Okinawa: The History of an Island People , noted Eastern affairs specialist George Kerr recounts the fascinating history of the island and its environs, from 1314 A.D. to the late twentieth century. First published in 1958, this edition features an introduction and appendix by Okinawa history scholar Mitsugu Sakihara, making this the most comprehensive resource on the intriguing island of Okinawa.

49

The Janissaries - Godfrey Goodwin Cover Art

The Janissaries

The Janissaries by Godfrey Goodwin

From the fifteenth to the sixteenth century, the janissaries were the scourge of Europe. With their martial music, their muskets and their drilled march, it seemed that no one could withstand them. Their loyalty to their corps was infinite as the Ottomans conquered the Balkans as far as the Danube, and Syria, Egypt and Iraq. They set up semi-independent states along the North African coast and even fought at sea. Their political power was such that even sultans trembled. Who were they? Why were they an elite? Why did they decline and what was their end? These are some of the questions which this book attempts to answer. It is the story of extraordinary personalities in both victory and defeat. 'An incredible book … a tour de force' Middle East International 'Well written and lucid.' Muslim World Books Review 'Goodwin has done so much in his scholarly career to introduce a wide audience to Ottoman culture.' Financial Times

50

Formosan Odyssey - John Grant Ross Cover Art

Formosan Odyssey

Formosan Odyssey Taiwan, Past and Present by John Grant Ross

Until the early twentieth century, Taiwan was one of the wildest places in Asia. Its coastline was known as a mariners’ graveyard, the mountainous interior was the domain of headhunting tribes, while the lowlands were a frontier area where banditry, feuding, and revolts were a way of life.  Formosan Odyssey  captures the rich sweep of history through the eyes of Westerners who visited and lived on the island — from missionaries, adventurers, lighthouse keepers, and Second World War PoWs, to students coming to study martial arts. It finishes with the story of Taiwan’s economic miracle, the political transition from police state to vibrant democracy, and its continuing stand-off with China. The author’s travels, made around the island in the wake of the devastating 921 earthquake, and his experiences from five years of living in a small town, provide an intimate picture of modern Taiwan. The island is a storehouse of Chinese and indigenous cultures, a fascinating mix of the new and the traditional, and likewise  Formosan Odyssey  is a smorgasbord of delights that both the general reader and any “old Asia hand” will find informative and amusing. Out of print for nearly a decade, treasured copies of this book have been passed around the expat community in Taiwan. Camphor Press is delighted to now be able to offer this gem to a wider audience.

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