Synopses & Reviews
The peoples of Asia now make up more than half of the world's population. They are increasingly well-educated, and successful in every area of modern trade and technology. Their influence in the rest of the world is also becoming greater. Colin Mason provides a readable and clear introduction to their history and traditions, from prehistory right up to the present day. This thoroughly revised, updated and expanded new edition includes the substantial changes and additions made necessary by the fast-changing scene in Asia, particularly China's increasing prominence in world affairs. There are new chapters on Afghanistan and Taiwan, and on World War Two and its significance in Asia, as well as extensive reworking of the chapters on the nations of South Asia. Maps and illustrations now also enrich the text throughout, making this the essential guide to the history of a fascinating continent and its peoples.
Designed to be readable above all else to those without prior knowledge of the subject, Colin Mason presents a gripping and comprehensive account of civilizations which had credit banking, mass production industries, and whole libraries of printed books while Europe was still primitive. It stresses in particular the pre-colonial period, taking a critical look at imperialism. Its chapters on the modern states are enlivened by the personal experience of the author, who has lived and worked in almost all of them.
About the Author
Colin Mason has been Chief Correspondent in Asia for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a diplomat, a senator and leader of his party in the Senate.
Table of Contents
List of Maps * List of Illustrations * Introduction * PART I: BEFORE IMPERIALISM * Prehistory and the First Indian Civilisations * The Development of Indian Culture * Early South-East Asia * China: The Eternal Nation * Early Japan and the Tang Dynasty in China * The Awakening of Europe and the Challenge of Islam * Floodtide in China: The Song, Mongol and Ming Dynasties * China: Ebbtide * The Three Makers of Japan and the Tokugawa Period * PART II: THE WHITE MAN'S BURDEN * The Dominators and the Dominated * South-East Asia: The European and Chinese Incursions and Later History of the Mainland Peoples * The Malay World: Majapahit and Malacca * Indonesia: The Last Independent Kingdoms and the Extension of Dutch Rule * India Under Two Masters: The Grand Moguls and the East India Company * Gandhi's India: The Struggle for Liberty * PART III: THE MODERN NATIONS * World War Two and the End of Empire * South Asia: Freedom, Partition and Tragedy * Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan * China: Two Revolutions * Modern China: The Communist State * Indonesia: Sukarno and After * Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei * Japan: The Iron Triangle * Thailand: Two Hats - The Struggle for Democracy * The Philippines: Trouble in Paradise * Korea: Divided Nation * Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia * Burma: Rule By the Gun * Asia - Today and Tomorrow * Suggested Further Reading * Index