A History of East Asia

A History of East Asia➨ A History of East Asia Ebook ➮ Author Charles Holcombe – Oaklandjobs.co.uk Charles Holcombe begins his extraordinarily ambitious book by asking the uestion What is East Asia In the modern age many of the features that made the region now defined as including China Japan and Charles Holcombe begins his extraordinarily ambitious of East Kindle Ð book by asking the uestion What is East Asia In the modern age many of the features that made the region now defined as including China Japan and Korea distinct have been submerged by the effects of revolution politics or globalization Yet as an ancient civilization the region had both an historical and cultural coherence It shared for example a Confucian heritage some common approaches to Buddhism a A History PDF/EPUB or writing system that is deeply imbued with ideas and meaning and many political and institutional traditions This shared past and the interconnections among three distinct yet related societies are at the heart of this book which traces the story of East Asia from the dawn of history to the early twenty first century Charles Holcombe is an experienced and sure footed guide who encapsulates in a fast moving and colorful narrative the vicissitudes and glories History of East PDF ´ of one of the greatest civilizations on earth. Decent introduction to East Asian history The “For Further Reading” section concluding each chapter is a particularly rich resource for further specific reading on this important topic A decent introduction to a regional history however this is another testament to how difficult it is to write a comprehensive history for an entire region over a time span It very uickly becomes clear what Holcombe's background is medieval China as particular periods and particular areas receive a lot attention With the steady increase of region focused programmes instead of country specific ones I would argue that collaborative works would still be preferable Holcombe provides a clear narrative with many of the major events present in this book but his chapters on the Korean peninsula Japan and Vietnam are significantly less detailed and generally weaker in respective order than his chapters on China and Taiwan I would recommend this as your first book into the region and suggest that you look at his recommended readings lists for in depth works on specific periods andor areas A slim 380 pages history of all of East Asia China Korea and Japan from its prehistory up until approx 2010 that doesn't fall flat on its face is uite an accomplishment Holcombe manages to pull it off I don't know enough about the regionperiod to complain about inaccuracies andor over condensation but the condensation was perfectly readable for the ignorant layman lout I am never too much never uite too littleA bit dry in parts but otherwise highly recommended The second edition of Charles Holcombe's A History of East Asia for Cambridge University Press is printed in a textbook format rather than one for general readers Hence it has tall wide pages densely packed with text and is not at all convenient for reading on the go in the way of mass market paperback histories such as The Penguin History of Latin America or The Fortunes of Africa which I also read recentlyNonetheless also lashing out on the expensive ebook circumvented that problem and it is definitely comparable to those two works as large scale broad scope histories go The working definition of 'East Asia' for this book is a primarily cultural one which includes China Korea Japan and Vietnam This does of course entail a huge variety of political entities historically and today there are still such complexities as Taiwan Macao Hong Kong and the two Koreas to consider Even Singapore rates a brief sub chapter near the endVietnam is often excluded from such definitions and although Holcombe argues persuasively for its inclusion he also devotes by far the least word count to it and at times it feels like an afterthought Conversely Mongolia often does appear in such definitions but here Holcombe has elected not to write its history per se although inevitably it freuently arises in light of the Mongol impact on much of the world Tibet similarly is scarcely mentioned save for its relations with ChinaAs such broad brush stroke histories go this book makes a decent fist of balancing all the possible focus areas and of illustrating trends commonalities and differences This includes discussion of major intellectual cultural and theological ideas such as Confucianism Daoism Buddhism and later Marxism which spread and changed through the lens of different languages then in turn reflected back on and influenced the cultures and languages from which they had come This discussion extends to specific individuals movements and artworks and especially to literatureArguably the most prominent emphasis and the one that ties the above together is on the complex nature of group identity It is easy especially for Westerners to adopt a view of relatively homogenous people in any of these countries In all of them to some extent but particularly in China this book demonstrates how misguided such views areChina has numerous indigenous peoples who were in important respects different from 'Han' Chinese for example More than that the empire has been subject to rule by dynasties of Mongols and Manchus Where it gets particularly complex is that the subjects adopted customs of these rulers and those rulers of their subjects until in some cases they came to be regarded as representing legitimately 'Chinese' culture in contrast to foreign adversariesThere is also plenty of emphasis on economics with some effort made to give a sense of its impact upon and contribution from all levels of society Military matters are dealt with cursorily as the details are unimportant on this scale as compared to the outcomes Political history is freuently addressed and shown to be intimately tied to all these other aspectsOne aspect which may surprise is how cities we now take for granted as among the largest and most important in the world such as Tokyo Seoul Beijing and Shanghai were unimportant or even non existent for large parts of history A book with such a high level perspective has the ability to illustrate the impermanence and fluidity of human institutions which may otherwise appear to us as bastions of stability since time immemorial Certainly it gives the lie to propagandist appeals to alleged traditions spanning millleniaHolcombe subscribes to the view of World War II as having commenced in 1937 with the Japanese invasion of China proper Whilst I can see an argument for that I am accustomed to thinking of it as a regional war which happened to be subsumed into the global conflict The reason for calling it a 'World War' is after all due to the involvement of a substantial part of the world as a function of Europe's colonial empires and alliances Holcombe doesn't mention any scholarly disagreement over the date and learning about that debate could in itself be constructiveMatters take an amusing turn when he tries to talk seriously about globalisation and cross pollination of pop culture He manages to call Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers a Japanese show which is not uite the whole story And seeing Hello Kitty and 'Gangnam Style' mentioned in an academic history book is good for a giggleHelpful supplementary materials are provided including a particularly useful pronunciation guide which I have as yet gone nowhere near to memorising much less masteringOne could always raise uibbles but in its totality this book is fit for its purpose as an introductory overview to a region of the world that at times has had a third of the world's population and to which the locus of global power is increasingly shifting thus far in the 21st century This is an extremely detailed book about the history of east asia It covers all emperors kings ueens and relevant concubines It spans over such a large period of time that I am unsure if I remember much if what I read but it certainly does cover enough to give you a general idea of the rise of East Asian countries I was most interested over the recent communist capitalist feud in East Asia which Is why I picked up the book Looking back now maybe a political book would have addressed my uestions better than a historical book but this book definitely does what it is meant to it gives you the highlight of what happened in that part of the continent This textbook goes to the very beginnings of civilization in China and then branches through East Asia defined culturally as those countries with civilizations who were China centric used the Chinese writing system had Mahayana Buddhism and Confucianism The countries defined as such are Korea Japan Vietnam and China with obvious branches in Singapore and TaiwanI learned about China and East Asia than I thought possible from this textbook It was dry boring at times and educational as a mandatory read Covers a lot of ground but manages to be concise and clear A good place to start Does dwell on China a lot like someone else pointed out but then again a history of East Asia really has no choice An engaging synoptic history of East Asia as a region Does a good job at outlining the uniue histories of China Korea Japan and Vietnam while highlighting their interconnectedness to each other and to the wider world Lackluster writing IMHO but overall good content and starting point for further reading Full review on my YouTube vlog A good overview but as with all surveys it ends up being a bit uick and slightly shallow Holcombe gets the basics down though which isn't easy with four countries and 3500 years of history

A History of East Asia Kindle  History of East  PDF
  • Paperback
  • 430 pages
  • A History of East Asia
  • Charles Holcombe
  • English
  • 12 August 2014
  • 9780521731645