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Asian history

See below for a selection of the latest books from Asian history category. Presented with a red border are the Asian history books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Asian history books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Animosity at Bay An Alternative History of the India-Pakistan Relationship, 1947-1952

Animosity at Bay An Alternative History of the India-Pakistan Relationship, 1947-1952

Author: Pallavi Raghavan Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/01/2020

In this groundbreaking book, Raghavan uses previously untapped archival sources to weave together new stories about the experiences of post-partition state-making in South Asia. Through meticulous research, it challenges the existing wisdom about the preponderance of animosity and the rhetoric of war. The book shows how amity and a spirit of cordiality governed relations between the states of India and Pakistan in the first five years after partition. Arguing that a hitherto overlooked set of considerations have to be integrated more closely into the analysis of bilateral dialogue, this book analyses the developments leading to the No War correspondence between Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan, the signing of a 'Minorities' Pact between the two prime ministers, and the early stages of the Indus Waters negotiations, as well as exploring the calculations of Indian and Pakistani delegates at a series of interdominion conferences held in the years after partition. This book will be of interest to specialists in histories of diplomatic practice as well as a general audience in search of narratives of peace in the South Asia region.

Where Dragon Veins Meet The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe

Where Dragon Veins Meet The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe

Author: Stephen H. Whiteman Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/01/2020

In 1702, the second emperor of the Qing dynasty ordered construction of a new summer palace in Rehe (now Chengde, Hebei) to support his annual tours north among the court's Inner Mongolian allies. The Mountain Estate to Escape the Heat (Bishu Shanzhuang) was strategically located at the node of mountain veins through which the Qing empire's geomantic energy was said to flow. At this site, from late spring through early autumn, the Kangxi emperor presided over rituals of intimacy and exchange that celebrated his rule: garden tours, banquets, entertainments, and gift giving. Stephen Whiteman draws on resources and methods from art and architectural history, garden and landscape history, early modern global history, and historical geography to reconstruct the Mountain Estate as it evolved under Kangxi, illustrating the importance of landscape as a medium for ideological expression during the early Qing and in the early modern world more broadly. Examination of paintings, prints, historical maps, newly created maps informed by GIS-based research, and personal accounts reveals the significance of geographic space and its representation in the negotiation of Qing imperial ideology. The first monograph in any language to focus solely on the art and architecture of the Kangxi court, Where Dragon Veins Meet illuminates the court's production and deployment of landscape as a reflection of contemporary concerns and offers new insight into the sources and forms of Qing power through material expressions.

The Epic of Ram, Volume 5

The Epic of Ram, Volume 5

Author: Tulsidas Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2020

The Epic of Ram presents a new translation of the Ramcaritmanas of Tulsidas (1543-1623). Written in Avadhi, a literary dialect of classical Hindi, the poem has become the most beloved retelling of the ancient Ramayana story across northern India. A devotional work revered and recited by millions of Hindus today, it is also a magisterial compendium of philosophy and lore and a literary masterpiece. Volume 5 encompasses the story's three middle episodes-Ram's meetings with forest sages, his battles with demons, the kidnapping of his wife, his alliance with a race of marvelous monkeys-and climaxes with the god Hanuman's heroic journey to the island city of Lanka to locate and comfort Sita. This new translation into free verse conveys the passion and momentum of the inspired poet and storyteller. It is accompanied by the most widely accepted edition of the Avadhi text, presented in the Devanagari script.

The Emperor Who Never Was Dara Shukoh in Mughal India

The Emperor Who Never Was Dara Shukoh in Mughal India

Author: Supriya Gandhi Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2020

The definitive biography of the eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan, whose death at the hands of his younger brother Aurangzeb changed the course of South Asian history. Dara Shukoh was the eldest son of Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, best known for commissioning the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Although the Mughals did not practice primogeniture, Dara, a Sufi who studied Hindu thought, was the presumed heir to the throne and prepared himself to be India's next ruler. In this exquisite narrative biography, the most comprehensive ever written, Supriya Gandhi draws on archival sources to tell the story of the four brothers-Dara, Shuja, Murad, and Aurangzeb-who with their older sister Jahanara Begum clashed during a war of succession. Emerging victorious, Aurangzeb executed his brothers, jailed his father, and became the sixth and last great Mughal. After Aurangzeb's reign, the Mughal Empire began to disintegrate. Endless battles with rival rulers depleted the royal coffers, until by the end of the seventeenth century Europeans would start gaining a foothold along the edges of the subcontinent. Historians have long wondered whether the Mughal Empire would have crumbled when it did, allowing European traders to seize control of India, if Dara Shukoh had ascended the throne. To many in South Asia, Aurangzeb is the scholastic bigot who imposed a strict form of Islam and alienated his non-Muslim subjects. Dara, by contrast, is mythologized as a poet and mystic. Gandhi's nuanced biography gives us a more complex and revealing portrait of this Mughal prince than we have ever had.

Democracy in China The Coming Crisis

Democracy in China The Coming Crisis

Author: Jiwei Ci Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2020

A respected Chinese political philosopher calls for the Communist Party to take the lead in moving China along the path to democracy before it is too late. With Xi Jinping potentially set as president for life, China's move toward political democracy may appear stalled. But Jiwei Ci argues that four decades of reform have created a mentality in the Chinese people that is just waiting for the political system to catch up, resulting in a disjunction between popular expectations and political realities. The inherent tensions in a largely democratic society without a democratic political system will trigger an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy, forcing the Communist Party to act or die. Two crises loom for the government. First is the waning of the Communist Party's revolutionary legacy, which the party itself sees as a grave threat. Second is the fragility of the next leadership transition. No amount of economic success will compensate for the party's legitimacy deficit when the time comes. The only effective response, Ci argues, will be an orderly transition to democracy. To that end, the Chinese government needs to start priming its citizens for democracy, preparing them for new civil rights and civic responsibilities. Embracing this pragmatic role offers the Communist Party a chance to survive. Its leaders therefore have good reason to initiate democratic change. Sure to challenge the Communist Party and stir debate, Democracy in China brings an original and important voice to an issue with far-reaching consequences for China and the world.

In Praise of Annada, Volume 2

In Praise of Annada, Volume 2

Author: Bharatchandra Ray Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2020

In 1752, the Bengali poet Bharatchandra Ray completed a long narrative poem dedicated to the glory of Annada, the consort of Shiva and the divinity who, as her name proclaims, bestows the bounty of rice. A poet well-versed in Sanskrit, Persian, and Hindi-all of which enrich his work-Bharatchandra took up the literary performance genre mangalkavya and thoroughly transformed it, addressing the aesthetic tastes of the court rather than those of the traditional village audience. He added depth and sensitivity to well-known legends, along with allusions to his own experiences of poverty, and more than a dash of mischievous wit. The second volume recounts the clandestine love affair of Princess Vidya and Prince Sundar, and how Bhavananda, ancestor of the poet's patron, stopped a rebellion and became a king. This translation, the first in English, features the original text in the Bangla script. Lively and entertaining, In Praise of Annada was regarded as a major achievement in its own time and is now counted one of the treasures of Bengali literature.

The Shenzhen Experiment The Story of China's Instant City

The Shenzhen Experiment The Story of China's Instant City

Author: Juan Du Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2020

An award-winning Hong Kong-based architect with decades of experience designing buildings and planning cities in the People's Republic of China takes us to the Pearl River delta and into the heart of China's iconic Special Economic Zone, Shenzhen. Shenzhen is ground zero for the economic transformation China has seen in recent decades. In 1979, driven by China's widespread poverty, Deng Xiaoping supported a bold proposal to experiment with economic policies in a rural borderland next to Hong Kong. The site was designated as the City of Shenzhen and soon after became China's first Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Four decades later, Shenzhen is a megacity of twenty million, an internationally recognized digital technology hub, and the world's most successful economic zone. Some see it as a modern miracle city that seemingly came from nowhere, attributing its success solely to centralized planning and Shenzhen's proximity to Hong Kong. The Chinese government has built hundreds of new towns using the Shenzhen model, yet none has come close to replicating the city's level of economic success. But is it true that Shenzhen has no meaningful history? That the city was planned on a tabula rasa? That the region's rural past has had no significant impact on the urban present? Juan Du unravels the myth of Shenzhen and shows us how this world-famous instant city has a surprising history-filled with oyster fishermen, villages that remain encased within city blocks, a secret informal housing system-and how it has been catapulted to success as much by the ingenuity of its original farmers as by Beijing's policy makers. The Shenzhen Experiment is an important story for all rapidly urbanizing and industrializing nations around the world seeking to replicate China's economic success in the twenty-first century.

The History of Akbar, Volume 6

The History of Akbar, Volume 6

Author: Abu'l-Fazl Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2020

Akbarnama, or The History of Akbar, by Abu'l-Fazl (d. 1602), is one of the most important works of Indo-Persian history and a touchstone of prose artistry. Marking a high point in a long, rich tradition of Persian historical writing, it served as a model for historians across the Persianate world. The work is at once a biography of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) that includes descriptions of his political and martial feats and cultural achievements, and a chronicle of sixteenth-century India. The sixth volume details the twenty-third to twenty-eighth years of Akbar's reign, including accounts of the quelling of rebellions in Bihar, Bengal, and Kabul, and final victory in Gujarat. The Persian text, presented in the Naskh script, is based on a careful reassessment of the primary sources.

Invisibility by Design Women and Labor in Japan's Digital Economy

Invisibility by Design Women and Labor in Japan's Digital Economy

Author: Gabriella Lukacs Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/01/2020

In the wake of labor market deregulation during the 2000s, online content sharing and social networking platforms were promoted in Japan as new sites of work that were accessible to anyone. Enticed by the chance to build personally fulfilling careers, many young women entered Japan's digital economy by performing unpaid labor as photographers, net idols, bloggers, online traders, and cell phone novelists. While some women leveraged digital technology to create successful careers, most did not. In Invisibility by Design Gabriella Lukacs traces how these women's unpaid labor became the engine of Japan's digital economy. Drawing on interviews with young women who strove to sculpt careers in the digital economy, Lukacs shows how platform owners tapped unpaid labor to create innovative profit-generating practices without employing workers, thereby rendering women's labor invisible. By drawing out the ways in which labor precarity generates a demand for feminized affective labor, Lukacs underscores the fallacy of the digital economy as a more democratic, egalitarian, and inclusive mode of production.

Invisibility by Design Women and Labor in Japan's Digital Economy

Invisibility by Design Women and Labor in Japan's Digital Economy

Author: Gabriella Lukacs Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/01/2020

In the wake of labor market deregulation during the 2000s, online content sharing and social networking platforms were promoted in Japan as new sites of work that were accessible to anyone. Enticed by the chance to build personally fulfilling careers, many young women entered Japan's digital economy by performing unpaid labor as photographers, net idols, bloggers, online traders, and cell phone novelists. While some women leveraged digital technology to create successful careers, most did not. In Invisibility by Design Gabriella Lukacs traces how these women's unpaid labor became the engine of Japan's digital economy. Drawing on interviews with young women who strove to sculpt careers in the digital economy, Lukacs shows how platform owners tapped unpaid labor to create innovative profit-generating practices without employing workers, thereby rendering women's labor invisible. By drawing out the ways in which labor precarity generates a demand for feminized affective labor, Lukacs underscores the fallacy of the digital economy as a more democratic, egalitarian, and inclusive mode of production.

Bending Adversity Japan and the Art of Survival

Bending Adversity Japan and the Art of Survival

Author: David Pilling Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/01/2020

The second edition of the definitive book on how modern Japan works, now fully updated up to include the new 'Reiwa' Era and the year of the Olympics 'A superb book that, better than any other I have read, manages to get the reader inside the skin of Japanese society ... astutely observed ... a great read brimming with insights' Japan Times Despite years of stagnation, Japan remains one of the world's largest economies and a country which exerts a remarkable cultural fascination. David Pilling's new book is an entertaining, deeply knowledgeable and surprising analysis of a group of islands which have shown great resilience, both in the face of financial distress and when confronted with the overwhelming disaster of the 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami. Bending Adversity is a superb work of reportage and the essential book even for those who already feel they know the country well.

Unruly Waters How Mountain Rivers and Monsoons Have Shaped South Asia's History

Unruly Waters How Mountain Rivers and Monsoons Have Shaped South Asia's History

Author: Sunil Amrith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/01/2020

'An enthralling, elegantly written and, ultimately, profoundly alarming history' Economist A bold new perspective on the history of South Asia, telling its story through its climate, and the long quest to tame its waters South Asia's history has been shaped by its waters. In Unruly Waters, historian Sunil Amrith reimagines this history through the stories of its rains, rivers, coasts, rivers and seas - and of the weather-watchers and engineers, mapmakers and farmers who have sought to control them. He shows how fears and dreams of water have, throughout South Asia, shaped visions of political independence and economic development, provoked efforts to reshape nature through dams and pumps, and unleashed powerful tensions within and between nations. Every year humans have watched with overwhelming anxiety for the nature of that year's monsoon to be revealed, with entire populations living or dying on the outcome. From the first small weather-reporting stations to today's satellites, the modern battle both to understand and manage water has literally been a matter of life or death. Today, Asian nations are racing to construct hundreds of dams in the Himalayas, with dire environmental impacts; hundreds of millions crowd into coastal cities threatened by cyclones and storm surges. In an age of climate change, this highly original work of history is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand not only Asia's past but its future.