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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!

Geishas and the Floating World Inside Tokyo's Yoshiwara Pleasure District

Geishas and the Floating World Inside Tokyo's Yoshiwara Pleasure District

Author: Stephen Longstreet, Ethel Longstreet, Stephen Mansfield Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/03/2020

Geishas and the Floating World returns readers to a lost world of sensuality and seduction, rich with hedonism, abandon, and sexual and personal politics. Floating World refers to Japan's traditional Geisha pleasure districts, but also to the artistic and literary worlds associated with them. At the heart of the Floating World and the system it supported was an extensive network of talented courtesans and entertainers, typified by the still fascinating, enigmatic Geisha. Stephen and Ethel Longstreet bring the reader on an in-depth tour of the original and most infamous red-light district in Japan-the Yoshiwara district of old Tokyo that underwent tremendous changes during the more than three centuries of its existence. Beyond the erotic allure the district held, the Yoshiwara also fostered a rich culture and a much studied and revered artistic and literary tradition. This account is adorned with examples of fine woodblock prints and quotations from often bawdy, and always colorful, original sources that offer a gripping portrait of life within the pleasure zone. Geishas and the Floating World balances scholarly insights with a master storyteller's flair for the exploits and intrigues of people operating outside the confines of polite society. Stephen Mansfield's new introduction bridges time, examining gender realities and the Yoshiwara through contemporary eyes, highlighting often overlooked subtleties and the harsh realities associated with this glittering world.

Demanding Images Democracy, Mediation, and the Image-Event in Indonesia

Demanding Images Democracy, Mediation, and the Image-Event in Indonesia

Author: Karen Strassler Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/03/2020

The end of authoritarian rule in 1998 ushered in an exhilarating but unsettled period of democratization in Indonesia. A more open political climate converged with a rapidly changing media landscape, yielding a vibrant and volatile public sphere within which Indonesians grappled with the possibilities and limits of democracy amid entrenched corruption, state violence, and rising forms of intolerance. In Demanding Images Karen Strassler theorizes image-events as political processes in which publicly circulating images become the material ground of struggles over the nation's past, present, and future. Considering photographs, posters, contemporary art, graffiti, selfies, memes, and other visual media, she argues that people increasingly engage with politics through acts of making, circulating, manipulating, and scrutinizing images. Demanding Images is both a closely observed account of Indonesia's turbulent democratic transition and a globally salient analysis of the work of images in the era of digital media and neoliberal democracy. Strassler reveals politics today to be an unruly enterprise profoundly shaped by the affective and evidentiary force of images.

Race and Power in British India Anglo-Indians, Class and Identity in the Nineteenth Century

Race and Power in British India Anglo-Indians, Class and Identity in the Nineteenth Century

Author: Valerie Anderson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/03/2020

By the nineteenth century the British had ruled India for over a hundred years, and had consolidated their power over the sub-continent. Until 1858, when Queen Victoria assumed sovereignty following the Indian Rebellion, the country was run by the East India Company - by this time a hybrid of state and commercial enterprises and eloquently and fiercely attacked as intrinsically immoral and dangerous by Edmund Burke in the late 1700s. Seeking to go beyond the statutes and ceremony, and show the reality of the interactions between rulers and ruled on a local level, this book looks at one of the most interesting phenomena of British India - the 'Eurasians'. The adventurers of the early years of Indian occupation arrived alone, and in taking 'native' mistresses and wives, created a race of administrators who were 'others' to both the native population and the British ruling class. These Anglo-Indian people existed in the zone between the colonizer and the colonized, and their history provides a wonderfully rich source for understanding Indian social history, race and colonial hegemony.

Monuments, Power and Poverty in India From Ashoka to the Raj

Monuments, Power and Poverty in India From Ashoka to the Raj

Author: A. S. Bhalla Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/03/2020

Much has been written about the Imperial architecture of the Indian subcontinent, but this is the first book to dig deeply into the extent of imperial extravagance set against the economic and social conditions of ordinary subjects. Bhalla uses an extensive collection of illustrations to complement this apparent paradox, assessing three Indian empires - Hindu, Muslim and British. From the 3rd century BC through to the end of British colonialism, splendid and often deliberately ostentatious buildings glorified the contemporary social structures. Moving through these different periods, important symbols of the various empires are assessed, including the fort palaces of Agra, Delhi and Lahore and the Taj Mahal. The author here examines both the positives and negatives of empire, taking in social stability but also exploitation and oppression, exploring the subject of Indian poverty in a historical perspective alongside the more lasting symbols of empire. Through comparisons and contrasts, from the mausolea and palaces of the Mughals to the government buildings and memorials provided by the British, this is a comprehensive and well-researched overview of a country whose architectural history gives important insights into the diversity of its rulers. This unique look into colonial architecture and power dynamics will prove essential readers for students, researchers and all those with an interest in South Asian history or the history of architecture.

Hinduism Before Reform

Hinduism Before Reform

Author: Brian A. Hatcher Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/03/2020

A bold retelling of the origins of contemporary Hinduism, and an argument against the long-established notion of religious reform. By the early eighteenth century, the Mughal Empire was in decline, and the East India Company was making inroads into the subcontinent. A century later Christian missionaries, Hindu teachers, Muslim saints, and Sikh rebels formed the colorful religious fabric of colonial India. Focusing on two early nineteenth-century Hindu communities, the Brahmo Samaj and the Swaminarayan Sampraday, and their charismatic figureheads-the cosmopolitan Rammohun Roy and the parochial Swami Narayan-Brian Hatcher explores how urban and rural people thought about faith, ritual, and gods. Along the way he sketches a radical new view of the origins of contemporary Hinduism and overturns the idea of religious reform. Hinduism Before Reform challenges the rigid structure of revelation-schism-reform-sect prevalent in much history of religion. Reform, in particular, plays an important role in how we think about influential Hindu movements and religious history at large. Through the lens of reform, one doctrine is inevitably backward-looking while another represents modernity. From this comparison flows a host of simplistic conclusions. Instead of presuming a clear dichotomy between backward and modern, Hatcher is interested in how religious authority is acquired and projected. Hinduism Before Reform asks how religious history would look if we eschewed the obfuscating binary of progress and tradition. There is another way to conceptualize the origins and significance of these two Hindu movements, one that does not trap them within the teleology of a predetermined modernity.

The Spanish Pacific, 1521-1815 A Reader of Primary Sources

The Spanish Pacific, 1521-1815 A Reader of Primary Sources

Author: Ricardo Padr n Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/03/2020

Spanish Pacific, early modern, Spanish Empire, Spanish Golden Age

China Bound John Swire & Sons and Its World, 1816 - 1980

China Bound John Swire & Sons and Its World, 1816 - 1980

Author: Robert Bickers Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/03/2020

The Swire Group, started by John Swire in 1816, had its beginnings as a modest Liverpool import-export company, focused mainly on the textile trade. John Swire's sons, John Samuel (1825-1898) and William Hudson (1830-1884), took the firm overseas and it was John Samuel Swire in particular whose entrepreneurial instincts would be at the root of the firm's successes in years to come. In 1861, John Swire & Sons Limited began to trade with China. In 1866, in partnership with R.S. Butterfield, the firm of Butterfield & Swire was established in Shanghai. Four years later, a branch of Butterfield & Swire was opened in Hong Kong. In 1953, four years after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Butterfield & Swire closed all of its China offices. In 1974, Butterfield & Swire in Hong Kong was renamed John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd. Today, Swire is a highly diversified group of companies - covering shipping, airlines (including Cathay Pacific), luxury hotels and agribusiness - and continues to operate out of Hong Kong, with a formal group HQ in London. This new book provides a detailed and intimate history of the company, researched and written by Robert Bickers, a Professor of History at the University of Bristol.

China Bound John Swire & Sons and Its World, 1816 - 1980

China Bound John Swire & Sons and Its World, 1816 - 1980

Author: Robert Bickers Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2020

The Swire Group, started by John Swire in 1816, had its beginnings as a modest Liverpool import-export company, focused mainly on the textile trade. John Swire's sons, John Samuel (1825-1898) and William Hudson (1830-1884), took the firm overseas and it was John Samuel Swire in particular whose entrepreneurial instincts would be at the root of the firm's successes in years to come. In 1861, John Swire & Sons Limited began to trade with China. In 1866, in partnership with R.S. Butterfield, the firm of Butterfield & Swire was established in Shanghai. Four years later, a branch of Butterfield & Swire was opened in Hong Kong. In 1953, four years after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Butterfield & Swire closed all of its China offices. In 1974, Butterfield & Swire in Hong Kong was renamed John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd. Today, Swire is a highly diversified group of companies - covering shipping, airlines (including Cathay Pacific), luxury hotels and agribusiness - and continues to operate out of Hong Kong, with a formal group HQ in London. This new book provides a detailed and intimate history of the company, researched and written by Robert Bickers, a Professor of History at the University of Bristol.

Frontiers into Borders Defining South Asia States, 1757-1857

Frontiers into Borders Defining South Asia States, 1757-1857

Author: Ainslie T. Embree Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/03/2020

Following the death of the great historian, Ainslie T. Embree, this remarkable document was found in his study, a project to which he had devoted the last years of his life. It is an insightful exploration of how the boundaries of the modern South Asian states were created in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, based on a careful examination of original materials in archives in England and India. Artfully written with rich local detail, this book reveals the fascinating interplay of colonial and local interests as the modern states were carved into being. It is destined to be a classic in the history of South Asian nation building.

The Crisis of Global Modernity Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future

The Crisis of Global Modernity Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future

Author: Prasenjit (National University of Singapore) Duara Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/03/2020

In this major new study, Prasenjit Duara expands his influential theoretical framework to present circulatory, transnational histories as an alternative to nationalist history. Duara argues that the present day is defined by the intersection of three global changes: the rise of non-western powers, the crisis of environmental sustainability and the loss of authoritative sources of what he terms transcendence - the ideals, principles and ethics once found in religions or political ideologies. The physical salvation of the world is becoming - and must become - the transcendent goal of our times, but this goal must transcend national sovereignty if it is to succeed. Duara suggests that a viable foundation for sustainability might be found in the traditions of Asia, which offer different ways of understanding the relationship between the personal, ecological and universal. These traditions must be understood through the ways they have circulated and converged with contemporary developments.

A History of Modern Indonesia

A History of Modern Indonesia

Author: Adrian (University of Sydney) Vickers Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/03/2020

Since the Bali bombings of 2002 and the rise of political Islam, Indonesia has frequently occupied media headlines. Nevertheless, the history of the fourth largest country on earth remains relatively unknown. Adrian Vickers' book, first published in 2005, traces the history of an island country, comprising some 240 million people, from the colonial period through revolution and independence to the present. Framed around the life story of Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Indonesia's most famous and controversial novelist and playwright, the book journeys through the social and cultural mores of Indonesian society, focusing on the experiences of ordinary people. In this new edition, the author brings the story up to date, revisiting his argument as to why Indonesia has yet to realise its potential as a democratic country. He also examines the rise of fundamentalist Islam, which has haunted Indonesia since the fall of Suharto.