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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

A Short History of Asia

Edition 3rd Edition
ISBN 9781137340597
Publication Date June 2014
Formats Hardcover Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

The nations of Asia now make up more than half of the world's population. With increasingly affluent, educated middle classes and vigorous, innovative industries, they are more populous and powerful than ever before, and their influence on the rest of the world is only growing. Colin Mason provides a clear, readable introduction to their histories and traditions, from the Stone Age right up to the present day.

This thoroughly revised, updated and expanded third edition contains new chapters on Mongolia, Nepal and Bhutan, separate expanded chapters on the South Asian nations, and revised chapters on all the modern states. A new introduction explores the nature and implications of the new politics of 'guided democracy', and the current clash between industrialisation and the consequences of climate change. Enriched with maps and a guide to further reading, this book is the essential guide to the history of a fascinating continent and its peoples.

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.

List of Maps
1. Introduction
2. Prehistory and the first Indian Civilizations
3. The Development of Indian Culture: Hinduism and Buddhism
4. Early South-East Asia: The Ships from India
5. China: The Eternal Nation
6. Early Japan and the Tang Dynasty in China
7. The Awakening of Europe and the Challenge of Islam
8. Floodtide in China: The Song, Mongol and Ming Dynasties
9. China: Ebb Tide
10. The Three Makers of Japan and the Tokugawa Period
11. The Dominators and the Dominated
12. South-East Asia: The European and Chinese Impacts
13. The Malay World: Majapahit and Malacca
14. Indonesia: The Last Independent Kingdoms and the Extension of Dutch Rule
15. India Under Two Masters: The Grand Moguls and the East India Company
16. Gandhi's India: The Struggle for Liberty
17. The Second World War and the End of Empire
18. South Asia: Freedom and Poverty
19. India
20. Pakistan
21. Bangladesh
22. Afghanistan
23. The Mountain States: Nepal and Bhutan
24. Sri Lanka
25. China: Two Revolutions
26. Modern China: The Communist State
27. Mongolia
28. Indonesia and Timor Leste
29. Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
30. Japan: The Iron Triangle
31. Thailand: Two Hats – The Struggle for Democracy
32. The Philippines: Trouble in Paradise
33. Korea: Divided Nation
34. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
35. Burma: Rule By the Gun
36. The Asian Century?
Suggested Further Reading


Praise for the third edition:
"This is a really good textbook on the history of Asia, fair and balanced, and with a great deal of accurate and interesting detail about the history of Asia. It is very compact and written in an accessible style that will appeal to students. I strongly recommend it." - Colin Mackerras, Griffith University, Australia
"A comprehensive and accessible survey of the histories and traditions that shaped the vibrant nations of contemporary Asia. Concise and balanced, this valuable new edition proves Colin Mason's ample knowledge of the changes and challenges faced by the region." - Ina Asim, University of Oregon, USA
Praise for previous editions:
"An authoritative, well-organised and well-written book." - D. R. SarDesai, University of California Los Angeles, USA
"A former foreign correspondent, broadcaster and diplomat, Mason has actually lived in Asia rather than observed it from afar. With this wealth of experience...he has the confidence to inject anecdote and a real feeling for recent history." - Ed Peters, South China Morning Post
"Mason's history reaffirms or reveals many details and also broadly challenges persistent Western approaches to Asian history in an account that roams widely." - The Sydney Morning Herald
"The book is quite a remarkable achievement. Mason has covered a great deal of territory and shows that he has both a sense of the current dynamics of Asia and a command of the considerable scholarly literature on the earlier period. The work raises a good many interesting themes to which students would respond positively." - Merle Ricklefs, Australian National University, Australia
"What Mason assembles is a very impressive sweep of the history of a colossal portion of the world where he touches upon the main themes, events and personalities, peppered with numerous interesting stories and personal anecdotes. This ambitious undertaking is lucid and interesting, and most useful for the generalist reader seeking to understand the broad events of Asian history." - Anthony L. Smith, Contemporary Southeast Asia
"This book will benefit all general readers and first-year undergraduates who are embarking on Asian Studies as part of a multi-disciplinary programme." - Burjor Avari, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
"Succinct, wide ranging and very readable. Ideally suited for the first year undergraduate with little previous exposure to Asian history." - James Chiriyankandath, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK
"Mason's account is readable and is influenced by his experiences as a foreign correspondent, broadcaster, diplomat and parliamentarian." - Peter Lowe, University of Manchester, UK
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