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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

A Short History of Asia

Edition 2nd edition
ISBN 9781403936110
Publication Date November 2005
Formats Hardcover Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The peoples of Asia now make up more than half of the world's population. They are increasingly well-educated, and successful in every area of modern trade and technology. Their influence in the rest of the world is also becoming greater. Colin Mason provides a readable and clear introduction to their history and traditions, from prehistory right up to the present day.

This thoroughly revised, updated and expanded new edition includes the substantial changes and additions made necessary by the fast-changing scene in Asia, particularly China's increasing prominence in world affairs. There are new chapters on Afghanistan and Taiwan, and on World War Two and its significance in Asia, as well as extensive reworking of the chapters on the nations of South Asia. Maps and illustrations now also enrich the text throughout, making this 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
List of Illustrations
Prehistory and the First Indian Civilisations
The Development of Indian Culture
Early South-East Asia
China: The Eternal Nation
Early Japan and the Tang Dynasty in China
The Awakening of Europe and the Challenge of Islam
Floodtide in China: The Song, Mongol and Ming Dynasties
China: Ebbtide
The Three Makers of Japan and the Tokugawa Period
The Dominators and the Dominated
South-East Asia: The European and Chinese Incursions and Later History of the Mainland Peoples
The Malay World: Majapahit and Malacca
Indonesia: The Last Independent Kingdoms and the Extension of Dutch Rule
India Under Two Masters: The Grand Moguls and the East India Company
Gandhi's India: The Struggle for Liberty
World War Two and the End of Empire
South Asia: Freedom, Partition and Tragedy
Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan
China: Two Revolutions
Modern China: The Communist State
Indonesia: Sukarno and After
Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
Japan: The Iron Triangle
Thailand: Two Hats - The Struggle for Democracy
The Philippines: Trouble in Paradise
Korea: Divided Nation
Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
Burma: Rule By the Gun
Asia - Today and Tomorrow
Suggested Further Reading


'An authoritative, well-organised and well-written book.' - D. R. SarDesai, Emeritus Professor of History, University of California Los Angeles, USA
International praise for the current edition:
'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
'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, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies
'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, Contemporary South Asia
'Succinct, wide ranging and very readable. Ideally suited for the first year undergraduate with little previous exposure to Asian history.' - James Chiriyankandath, London Guildhall University
'Mason's account is readable and is influenced by his experiences as a foreign correspondent, broadcaster, diplomat and parliamentarian.' - Peter Lowe, University of Manchester, HER
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