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Asia: A Concise History

ISBN: 978-0-470-82504-4
450 pages
August 2011
Asia: A Concise History (0470825049) cover image
From one of the world's leading historians a comprehensive narrative of the 3,000 years that have formed Asia's people, culture, and global destiny

Tracing its origins in Mesopotamia to its modern role on the global geopolitical stage, historian Arthur Cotterell offers a compelling, lively, and readable account of one of the most culturally diverse, and often misunderstood, parts of the world. Beginning with the emergence of the world's earliest civilization in 3000 BC, Asia: A Concise History provides a fascinating look at the global convulsions like the rise and fall of Assyria and Persia, the medieval states that flourished after the advent of Islam, and the modern transformations triggered by the lightning conquests of imperial Japan that have shaped the continent.

  • Covers the great events and figures of Asian history, along with a look at the monumental remains that bear witness to those times: the ziggurats of Iraq, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the temple of Angkor Wat
  • Includes fascinating slices of history, including funeral arrangements for Qin Shi Huangdi in 210 BC; an extract from Lord Macartney's journal of his 1793 diplomatic mission to the Qing emperor Qian Long; and Toyotomi Hideyoshi's edict of 1587 banning firearms in Japan
  • Features boxed inserts of special interest like a Babylonian recipe for lamb stew circa 1500 BC
  • Contains over 100 illustrations, maps, and photos
  • Other books by Cotterell: The Minoan World, The First Emperor of China, The Encyclopedia of Mythology, and Chariot

Destined to become a reference staple for history buffs and students of Asian history, Asia: A Concise History offers readers a breathtaking narrative and wealth of detail that make the formative periods, key events, and personalities from this once remote part of the world come alive.

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Preface.

Introduction.

List of Maps.

Photo Credits.

PART 1: ANCIENT ASIA.

Chapter 1: Ancient West Asia.

The First Civilisation: Sumer.

The Great Empires: Babylon, Assyria and Persia.

Understanding the World: Religion and Myth.

Endgame: Greco-Roman Europe Versus Persian Asia.

Chapter 2: Ancient South Asia.

Asia’s Second Civilisation: The Indus Valley.

Epic India: The Aryan Invasion.

The Buddhist Revolution: The Mauryan Empire.

The Age of Invasion: From the Bactrians to the Huns.

Chapter 3: Ancient East Asia.

The Cradle of the East: The Shang Dynasty.

Classical China: The Zhou Dynasty.

Imperial Unifi cation: The Qin and Former Han Emperors.

Imperial Crisis: The Failure of the Later Han.

Chapter 4: Ancient Central Asia.

The Steppe: An Intercontinental Highway.

Nomads: The Scourge of the Sown.

The Spread of Buddhism: The First Pan-Asian Faith.

The Great Raid: Attila the Hun.

PART 2: MEDIEVAL ASIA.

Chapter 5: Medieval West Asia.

Islam: The Second Pan-Asian Faith.

The Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates.

The Coming of the Seljuks.

The Crusades.

Safavid Persia.

The Ottoman Empire.

Chapter 6: Medieval South Asia.

The Arrival of Islam.

The Hindu and Buddhist Kingdoms.

The Mughal Empire.

European Rivalry.

The British Triumph.

Chapter 7: Medieval East Asia.

Tang and Song China.

Confucian Korea.

Feudal Japan.

The Ming Revival.

Chapter 8: Medieval Central Asia.

The Turks and the Qidans.

The Tibetan Empire.

The Mongol Empire.

Tamerlane, the Sword of Islam.

The Manchu Conquests.

Chapter 9: Medieval Southeast Asia.

Independent Vietnam.

The Khmer Empire.

The Kingdoms of Burma.

The Island Powers: Srivijaya, Mataram and Majapahit.

The Slow Spread of Islam.

The Advent of European Power.

The Rise of the Thai.

PART 3: MODERN ASIA.

Chapter 10: Modern West Asia.

The Fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Between World Wars.

The Founding of Israel.

Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

Iraq versus Iran.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.

Modern Turkey.

Chapter 11: Modern South Asia.

The British Raj.

The Indian Mutiny.

The End of Company Rule.

Gandhi and Indian Nationalism.

Independence and Partition.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Chapter 12: Modern East Asia.

China's Humiliation.

Japanese Imperialism.

The People's Republic of China.

The Korean War.

The Rise of the Pacific Rim.

Chapter 13: Modern Central Asia.

The Russian Advance.

The Great Game.

Afghanistan, the Land of Bones.

Siberia and Mongolia.

The Central Asian Republics.

Chapter 14: Modern Southeast Asia.

The Dutch East Indies.

The British Possessions.

French Indochina and Thailand.

The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Post-War Decolonisation.

The Republic of Indonesia.

The Tragedy of Vietnam.

Filipino Democracy.

Postscript: The Rise of Present-Day Asia.

Glossary.

Further Reading.

Index.

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Arthur Cotterell, currently residing in England, was a former Principal of Kingston College in London. He has spent many years combining senior educational management with historical research. Arthur currently spends most of his time on writing, and travels extensively throughout Asia.
Arthur is the respected author of more than thirty books. His most recent publications include, The Imperial Capitals of China, Leadership and Chariot.
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November 2012
Book by Chia-Hui Francis Lin, PhD, The University of Melbourne, Australia, first published by East Asia Integration Studies:
http://asianintegration.org/index.php?option=com_joomlib&task=view&id=88&Itemid=75
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Asia: A Concise History (US $29.95)

-and- Medieval History For Dummies (US $19.99)

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