Asian History, General
Featured Items
Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume III, Volume 3: A Century of Advance. Book 4: East Asia
Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume III, Volume 3: A Century of Advance. Book 4
East Asia
Hardcover      ISBN: 0226467562

This monumental series, acclaimed as a masterpiece of comprehensive scholarship in the New York Times Book Review, reveals the impact of Asia's high civilizations on the development of modern Western society. The authors examine the ways in which European encounters with Asia have altered the development of Western society, art, literature, science, and religion since the Renaissance.

In Volume III: A Century of Advance, the authors have researched seventeenth-century European writings on Asia in an effort to understand how contemporaries saw Asian societies and peoples.
Vietnam
Vietnam
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393040275

Vietnam: A Book of Changes interprets a culture and landscape largely cut off from the West for the last thirty years, and now open to a market economy and a new relationship to America. The photographs are suffused with the rawness of Vietnamese life lived on the economic and political edge. Under the layer of friendship lies the tension of politics; under beauty lies violence; under the stark faces of remote villagers is the entrepreneurial momentum drawing them to the city; and under the remnants of war is an artistic bohemia grappling with new freedoms and continued censorship.
Nathaniel's Nutmeg: Or, the True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History
Nathaniel's Nutmeg
Or, the True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History
Hardcover      ISBN: 0374219362

A true tale of high adventure in the South Seas.
The tiny island of Run is an insignificant speck in the Indonesian archipelago. Just two miles long and half a mile wide, it is remote, tranquil, and, these days, largely ignored.
Yet 370 years ago, Run's harvest of nutmeg (a pound of which yielded a 3,200 percent profit by the time it arrived in England) turned it into the most lucrative of the Spice Islands, precipitating a battle between the all-powerful Dutch East India Company and the British Crown. The outcome of the fighting was one of the most spectacular deals in history: Britain ceded Run to Holland but in return was given Manhattan. This led not only to the birth of New York but also to the beginning of the British Empire.
Such a deal was due to the persistence of one man. Nathaniel Courthope and his small band of adventurers were sent to Run in October 1616, and for four years held off the massive Dutch navy. Nathaniel's Nutmeg centers on the remarkable showdown between Courthope and the Dutch Governor General Jan Coen, and the brutal fate of the mariners racing to Run-and the other corners of the globe-to reap the huge profits of the spice trade. Written with the flair of a historical sea novel but based on rigorous research, "Nathaniel's Nutmeg" is a brilliant adventure story by a writer who has been hailed as the "new Bruce Chatwin" ("Mail" on Sunday).

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
Krakatoa
The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
Hardcover      ISBN: 0066212855

The bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World examines the enduring and world-changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the earth's most dangerous volcano -- Krakatoa.

The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa -- the name has since become a byword for a cataclysmic disaster -- was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event that has only very recently been properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round die planet for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid with lurid and unsettling displays of light. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogota and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all -- in view of today's new political climate -- the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims: one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere.

Simon Winchester's long experience in the world wandering as well as his knowledge of history and geology give us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event as he brings it telling back to life.



Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Soldiers of God
With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Paperback      ISBN: 1400030250

First time in paperback, with a new Introduction and final chapter

World affairs expert and intrepid travel journalist Robert D. Kaplan braved the dangers of war-ravaged Afghanistan in the 1980s, living among the mujahidin--the "soldiers of god"--whose unwavering devotion to Islam fueled their mission to oust the formidable Soviet invaders. In Soldiers of God we follow Kaplan's extraordinary journey and learn how the thwarted Soviet invasion gave rise to the ruthless Taliban and the defining international conflagration of the twenty-first century.

Kaplan returns a decade later and brings to life a lawless frontier. What he reveals is astonishing: teeming refugee camps on the deeply contentious Pakistan-Afghanistan border; a war front that combines primitive fighters with the most technologically advanced weapons known to man; rigorous Islamic indoctrination academies; a land of minefields plagued by drought, fierce tribalism, insurmountable ethnic and religious divisions, an abysmal literacy rate, and legions of war orphans who seek stability in military brotherhood. Traveling alongside Islamic guerrilla fighters, sharing their food, observing their piety in the face of deprivation, and witnessing their determination, Kaplan offers a unique opportunity to increase our understanding of a people and a country that are at the center of world events.
The Victor Weeps: Afghanistan
The Victor Weeps
Afghanistan
Hardcover      ISBN: 3931141950
Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History
Sky Train
Tibetan Women on the Edge of History
Paperback      ISBN: 029598953x

Through a lyrical narrative of her journey to Tibet in 2007, activist Canyon Sam contemplates modern history from the perspective of Tibetan women. Traveling on China's new "Sky Train," she celebrates Tibetan New Year with the Lhasa family whom she'd befriended decades earlier and concludes an oral-history project with women elders.

As she uncovers stories of Tibetan women's courage, resourcefulness, and spiritual strength in the face of loss and hardship since the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950, and observes the changes wrought by the controversial new rail line in the futuristic "new Lhasa," Sam comes to embrace her own capacity for letting go, for faith, and for acceptance. Her glimpse of Tibet's past through the lens of the women - a visionary educator, a freedom fighter, a gulag survivor, and a child bride - affords her a unique perspective on the state of Tibetan culture today - in Tibet, in exile, and in the widening Tibetan diaspora.

Gracefully connecting the women's poignant histories to larger cultural, political, and spiritual themes, the author comes full circle, finding wisdom and wholeness even as she acknowledges Tibet's irreversible changes.

Tibetan Sacred Dance: A Journey Into the Religious and Folk Traditions
Tibetan Sacred Dance
A Journey Into the Religious and Folk Traditions
Paperback      ISBN: 0892819189

The first book to explore the significance and symbolism of the sacred and secular ritual dances of Tibetan Buddhism.

- Lavishly illustrated with color and rare historic photographs depicting the dances, costumes, and masks.

- Looks at both sacred (cham) and folk (achi lhamo) forms and their role in the development, practice, and culture of Tibetan Buddhism.

From the time Buddhism entered the mythical land of the snows, Tibetans have expressed their spiritual devotion and celebrated their culture with dance. Only since the diaspora of the Tibetan people have outsiders witnessed these performances, and when they do, no one explains why these dances exist and what they really mean. Ellen Pearlman, who studied with Lobsang Samten, the ritual dance master of the Dalai Lama's Namgyal monastery in India, set out to discover the meaning behind these practices. She found the story of the indigenous shamanistic Bon religion being superseded by Buddhism--a story full of dangerous and illicit liaisons, brilliant visions, secret teachings, betrayals, and unrevealed yogic practices.

Pearlman examines the four lineages that developed sacred cham--the secret ritual dances of Tibet's Buddhist monks--and achi lhamo storytelling folk dance and opera. She describes the mental and physical process of preparing for these dances, the meaning of the iconography of the costumes and masks, the spectrum of accompanying music, and the actual dance steps as recorded in a choreography book dating back to the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1647. Beautiful color photographs from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and Pearlman's own images of touring monastic troupes complement the rare historic black-and-white photos from the collections of Sir Charles Bell, chief of the British Mission in Tibet during the life of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.
Angkor
Angkor
Hardcover      ISBN: 3829005040
Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume III, Volume 3: A Century of Advance. Book 1: Trade, Missions, Literature
Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume III, Volume 3: A Century of Advance. Book 1
Trade, Missions, Literature
Hardcover      ISBN: 0226467538

This monumental series, acclaimed as a masterpiece of comprehensive scholarship in the New York Times Book Review, reveals the impact of Asia's high civilizations on the development of modern Western society. The authors examine the ways in which European encounters with Asia have altered the development of Western society, art, literature, science, and religion since the Renaissance.

In Volume III: A Century of Advance, the authors have researched seventeenth-century European writings on Asia in an effort to understand how contemporaries saw Asian societies and peoples.