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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!
A cultural history of the concept of pharmacy, both the material nature of drugs and the trade in medicine, in early modern China Know Your Remedies presents a panoramic inquiry into China's early modern cultural transformation through the lens of pharmacy. In the history of science and civilization in China, pharmacy-as a commercial enterprise and as a branch of classical medicine-resists easy characterization. While China's long tradition of documenting the natural world through state-commissioned pharmacopeias, known as bencao, dwindled after the sixteenth century, the ubiquitous presence of Chinese pharmacy shops around the world today testifies to the vitality of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Rejecting narratives of intellectual stagnation or an unchanging folk culture, He Bian argues that pharmacy's history in early modern China can best be understood as a dynamic interplay between elite and popular culture. Beginning with decentralizing trends in book culture and fiscal policy in the sixteenth century, Bian reveals pharmacy's central role in late Ming public discourse. Fueled by factional politics in the early 1600s, amateur investigation into pharmacology reached peak popularity among the literati on the eve of the Qing conquest in the mid-seventeenth century. The eighteenth century witnessed a systematic reclassification of knowledge, as the Qing court turned away from pharmacopeia in favor of a demedicalized natural history. Throughout this time, growth in long-distance trade enabled the rise of urban pharmacy shops, generating new knowledge about the natural world. Bringing together a wealth of primary sources, Know Your Remedies makes an essential contribution to the study of Chinese history and the history of medicine.
The Indus basin was once an arid pastoral watershed, but by the second half of the twentieth century, it had become one of the world's most heavily irrigated and populated river basins. Launched under British colonial rule in the nineteenth century, this irrigation project spurred political, social, and environmental transformations that continued after the 1947 creation of the new states of India and Pakistan. In this first large-scale environmental history of the region, David Gilmartin focuses on the changes that occurred in the basin as a result of the implementation of the world's largest modern integrated irrigation system. This masterful work of scholarship explores how environmental transformation is tied to the creation of communities and nations, focusing on the intersection of politics, statecraft, and the environment.
Korean Communication, Media, and Culture is a bibliography of English-language publications for non-Korean-speaking academics, researchers, and professionals. In addition to the actual annotations of all the major books, book chapters, journal articles, and theses/dissertations, each chapter includes contextual introductory commentary on its topic. The authors not only historicize their findings but they also prescribe the direction that English-language research on Korean communication should take.
Central Asia is a relatively understudied neighbor of Afghanistan. The region is often placed into a number of historical and political contexts--a section of the Silk Road, a pawn in the Great Game, the spillover state that exemplifies the failure of US foreign policy--that limit scholarly understanding. This edited volume contributes by providing a broad, long-term analysis of the Central Asia-Afghanistan relationship over the last several decades. It addresses the legacy of Soviet intervention with a unique first-hand selection of interviews of former Soviet Central Asian soldiers that fought in the Soviet-Afghan War. It examines Afghanistan's norther neighbors, discussing Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan--their strategy for Afghanistan, their perception of challenges and opportunities of the country, and patterns of cooperation and conflict. The collection also looks at recent US strategic initiatives in the region, in particular the New Silk Road Initiative that envisions a growing Central Asia-South Asia connection.
By tracing the history of Yudahua from the late nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century, this study analyzes a successful inland business model among textile companies in modern China. The steady growth of this enterprise relied primarily on its strategy to focus on low-end markets to locate new mills in underdeveloped interior regions. This strategy further allowed the enterprise to pioneer industrialization in its host localities, demonstrating a major social and economic impact on the local societies. At the same time, Yudahua's unique team leadership pattern--five leading families shared its ownership and management--made the business an atypical family firm and allowed relatively easy institutional departure from Chinese social networks and adoption of Western corporate hierarchy. Therefore, by the late 1940s, Yudahua had gradually developed into a fairly integrated business group with a unified management structure and routinized connections between its member mills, which differed noticeably from the loose alliances normally found in other early twentieth-century Chinese business conglomerates.
In world history, the Meiji Restoration of 1868 ranks as a revolutionary watershed, on a par with the American and French Revolutions. In this volume, leading historians from North America, Europe, and Japan employ global history in novel ways to offer fresh economic, social, political, cultural, and military perspectives on the Meiji Restoration and the subsequent creation of the modern Japanese nation-state. Seamlessly mixing meta- and micro-history, the authors examine how the Japanese state and Japanese people engaged with global trends of the early nineteenth century. They also explore the internal military conflicts that marked the 1860s and the process of reconciliation after 1868. They conclude with discussions of how new political, cultural, and diplomatic institutions were created as Japan emerged as a global nation, defined in multiple ways by its place in the world.
We think of blue and white porcelain as the ultimate global commodity: throughout East and Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean including the African coasts, the Americas and Europe, consumers desired Chinese porcelains. Many of these were made in the kilns in and surrounding Jingdezhen. Found in almost every part of the world, Jingdezhen's porcelains had a far-reaching impact on global consumption, which in turn shaped the local manufacturing processes. The imperial kilns of Jingdezhen produced ceramics for the court, while nearby private kilns manufactured for the global market. In this beautifully illustrated study, Anne Gerritsen asks how this kiln complex could manufacture such quality, quantity and variety. She explores how objects tell the story of the past, connecting texts with objects, objects with natural resources, and skilled hands with the shapes and designs they produced. Through the manufacture and consumption of Jingdezhen's porcelains, she argues, China participated in the early modern world.
Focusing on the Deccan Sultanates of 16th- and 17th-century central India, Local States in an Imperial World promotes the idea that some polities of the time were not aspiring to be empires. Instead of the universalist and hierarchical vision typical of the language of empire, the sultanates presented another brand of state - one that prefers negotiation, flexibility and plurality of languages, religions and cultures. Building on theories of early modernity, empire, cosmopolitanism and vernaculars, Roy Fischel considers the components that shaped state and society: people, identities and idioms. He presents a frame for understanding the Deccan Sultanates as a rare case of the early modern non-imperial state, shedding light both on the region and on the imperial world surrounding it.
One of the most important and celebrated works of premodern Korean prose fiction, Kumo sinhwa (New Tales of the Golden Turtle) is a collection of five tales of the strange artfully written in literary Chinese by Kim Sisup (1435-1493). Kim was a major intellectual and poet of the early Choson dynasty (1392-1897), and this book is widely recognized as marking the beginning of classical fiction in Korea.The present volume features an extensive study of Kim and the Kumo sinhwa, followed by a copiously annotated, complete English translation of the tales from the oldest extant edition. The translation captures the vivaciousness of the original, while the annotations reveal the work's complexity, unraveling the deep and diverse intertextual connections between the Kumo sinhwa and preceding works of Chinese and Korean literature and philosophy. The Kumo sinhwa can thus be read and appreciated as a hybrid work that is both distinctly Korean and Sino-centric East Asian. A translator's introduction discusses this hybridity in detail, as well as the unusual life and tumultuous times of Kim Sisup; the Kumo sinhwa's creation and its translation and transformation in early modern Japan and twentieth-century (especially North) Korea and beyond; and its characteristics as a work of dissent. Tales of the Strange by a Korean Confucian Monk will be welcomed by Korean and East Asian studies scholars and students, yet the body of the work-stories of strange affairs, fantastic realms, seductive ghosts, and majestic but eerie beings from the netherworld-will be enjoyed by academics and non-specialist readers alike.
A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at www.luminosoa.org. During the height of Muslim power in Mughal South Asia, Hindu and Muslim scholars worked collaboratively to translate a large body of Hindu Sanskrit texts into the Persian language. Translating Wisdom reconstructs the intellectual processes and exchanges that underlay these translations. Using as a case study the 1597 Persian rendition of the Yoga-Vasistha-an influential Sanskrit philosophical tale whose popularity stretched across the subcontinent-Shankar Nair illustrates how these early modern Muslim and Hindu scholars drew upon their respective religious, philosophical, and literary traditions to forge a common vocabulary through which to understand one another. These scholars thus achieved, Nair argues, a nuanced cultural exchange and interreligious and cross-philosophical dialogue significant not only to South Asia's past but also its present.
Towards the end of the thirteenth century the Nestorian monk, Rabban Sawma, together with his disciple Mark, set out from Khanbaliq (Beijing), the capital city of Kublai Khan's Mongol Empire, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Travelling through northern China and Central Asia they arrived at Maraghah, capital city of the Ilkhanate that was Mongol-ruled Persia. Military unrest prevented them from ever reaching Jerusalem but they did reah Baghdad, where Rabban Sawma spent many years. Summoned by Arghun Khan, the Ilkhan ruler and grand nephew of Kublai Khan, Sawma was made Ilkhanid ambassador and sent to Europe, first travelling to Constantinople to meet the Byzantine emperor and then to meet the kings of France and England as well as Pope Nicholas IV. Sawma's disciple, Mark, became the Nestorian Catholicus. Sawma's account of his travels provides unique information on the Ilkhans of Perisa and their dealings with the Mongol Christians as well as the events that led to the downfall of the Nestorian Church in China and further offers a unique picture of Medieval Europe through Asian eyes. Translated by Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, who also included a substantial introduction, the work is now rare. This edition contains a new introduction by Professor David Morgan, the leading scholar of the Mongol period.