A wide-ranging introduction to the multi-faceted history of Asia-from early origins to the present
Asia Past and Present is an expansive survey of the social, political, and economic history of the continent from the Paleolithic era to the early 21st century. As there is no physically discrete continent, rather an arbitrary division of the Eurasian landmass, this book focuses on terrain that encompasses India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, the Russian Far East, and Southeast Asia-the area which most modern scholars identify as Asia.
Offering broad chronological and topical coverage of Asia, this book examines subjects including written languages, religions and philosophies, concepts of monarchy, militarism, independence and nation building, and more. Particular focus is placed on the varying levels of influence the core cultures of India and China have had on the continent in a multitude of socio-political areas. Historical dialogues of how colonies, later emerging nations, blended traditional Asian culture and Western political and economic models of modernization complement contemporary discussions of globalization, nuclear tensions, and growing demands for greater individual freedom. Written in an engaging, accessible style, this book:
- Covers of a wide range of topics, perspectives, geographic regions, and time periods
- Highlights India and China as the pre 19th century cultural cores of Asia
- Presents a relatable political-cultural narrative framework
- Discusses contemporary themes including gender, sexual orientation, the environment, and Western and Islamic influence on Asian culture
- Includes coverage of commonly underrepresented regions such as the Himalayan nations, Maldives, and New Guinea
Asia Past and Present: A Brief History is a valuable resource for undergraduate courses where Asian cultures are introduced, and in courses on Asian politics, diplomacy, environmental issues, and socio-economics.