Saturday, February 18, 2012

Books on Asian History from Selections 106

These are books on Asian history from our recent Selections 106:

A History of Korean Science And Technology by Jeon Sang-Woon.  Utilizing rare pictures and offering detailed explanations of the heritage of traditional Korean science from the Bronze Age to the Joseon Dynasty, this book takes a fresh and unique look at the history of Korean science. The author covers a wide range of topics, including astronomy, meteorology, metals and glass, printing, geography and cartography, and also discusses the accomplishments of eminent Korean scientists.

Sun Yat-Sen, Nanyang and the 1911 Revolution edited by Lee Lai To and Lee Hock Guan. In view of the 100th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution and Sun Yat-sen's relations with the Nanyang communities, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and the Chinese Heritage Centre came together to host a two-day bilingual conference on the three-way relationships between Sun Yat-sen, Nanyang and the 1911 Revolution in October 2010 in Singapore. This volume is a collection of papers in English presented at the conference. While there are extensive research and voluminous publications on Sun Yat-sen and the 1911 Revolution, it was felt that less had been done on the Southeast Asian connections. Thus this volume tries to chip in some original and at times provocative analysis on not only Sun Yat-sen and the 1911 Revolution but also contributions from selected Southeast Asian countries.

Southeast Asian Historiography: Unravelling yhe Myths - Essays in Honour of Barend Jan Terwiel edited by Volker Grabowsky, Volker. This collection of twenty-one essays in honour of Professor Barend Jan Terwiel deals with a wide range of issues spanning various periods of time, both modern and pre-modern, in countries throughout Southeast Asia. The contributors have been inspired to challenge and unravel established paradigms of this diverse region's history and in doing so propose new insights and interpretations. The volume first focuses on Thailand and Laos and includes contributions by distinguished historians such as Thongchai Winichakul and Barend Terwiel himself. It covers topics such as the rise of Thai nationalism, concepts of gender and ethnicity and the role of magic and religion in contemporary society. The second part widens the perspective looking at issues such as the relationship between myth and nation in Vietnam, Buddhism and political legitimisation in Burma and the role of Europeans in the shaping of the region's history.

Revolutionary Spirit: Jose Rizal in Southeast Asia by John Nery. The impact of the nationalist, poet and novelist Jose Rizal (1861-1896) was of course a major force in the emergent anti-colonial movement in the Philippines. Many tales surround his memory and the iconic poem written before his 1896 execution in Manila. This book explores Rizal's even now ongoing impact in the nationalism in Southeast Asia particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia. The author finds the ideas of present-day scholars and activists such as Syed Hussein Alatas, Pramoedya Ananta Toer are influenced by Rizal's life and ideas. Bibliography and index.

The Battle for China: Essays on the Military History of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945 edited by Mark Peattie, Edward Drea et al.. The Sino-Japanese War has inspired numerous specialised studies-some analysing diplomatic relations, some addressing specific incidents, and still others documenting the rise of Communism in China. The war itself, however, has usually been presented from the perspective of the West. Departing from this tradition, The Battle for China brings together Chinese, Japanese, and Western scholars of the first rank to provide a comprehensive and multifaceted overview of the military operations that shaped much of what happened in political, economic, and cultural realms. Given the volatility of the events covered and their disputed histories, the volume's diverse contributors have taken pains to sustain a scholarly, dispassionate tone throughout their analyses of the course and the nature of military operations, ranging from the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937 to the final campaigns of 1945. They present Western involvement in the war, but in Sino-Japanese contexts, and establish the war's place in World War II and world history in general.

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