Asian History, General
A Concise History
Paperback ISBN: 0500283737
A revised edition of Watson's history of India, beginning in the 3rd millennium BC with the Indus Valley civilization and ending with a new chapter on India after Nehru. It includes the influx of pastoral nomads who established the Vedic religion, the Moghul incursions, and the British influence.
To the Storm
The Odyssey of a Revolutionary Chinese Woman
Paperback ISBN: 0520060296
To the Storm by Yue Daiyun and Carolyn Wakeman is the fascinating story of Yue Daiyun, a faculty member at Beijing University. Yue Daiyun was a revolutionary from her early school days. She had been a child during the anti-Japanese war and hated the Guomundang. Accepted as a student at Beida in 1948, she joined the Communist Party's underground Democratic youth League and became a Party member the following year and helped with the Liberation of Beijing. While a student at Beida, she served as a delegate at the Prague 2nd World Student Congress in 1950 and worked in the countryside on land reform in 1951-52. Then she graduated from Beida and became a faculty member in the literature department. She married her husband, Lao Tang, the day after their graduation. He obtained a faculty position in the philosophy department. Both were loyal to Chairman Mao and the goals of the Revolution. Their lives went smoothly for several years until 1958. Yue Daiyun taught Chinese literature and took part in many activities on campus. She read many Western books and supported the formation of a new literary magazine on campus. This eventually brought her into conflict with the authorities and the beginning of two decades of problems and persecution for her and her family. The Party had encouraged openness and criticism of its mistakes and deficiencies in the system. Yue Daiyun had taken part in the discussions, believing that she was helping to build a better China. Summoned to a meeting at her department one day, she was denounced as a rightist. She did not understand what she did wrong, but she was quickly relieved of her teaching duties and sent to the countryside to work and live with the peasants for two years. This was the first of her suspensions from teaching. Both Yue Daiyun and her husband, Lao Tang, were caught up in the persecution and violence of the Cultural Revolution. They had spent two years at a cadre school in Liyouhoz and when they returned to Beijing, Lao Tang was selected to work on a special task force called Liang Xaio. This brought Lao Tang and the group into close association with Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four. When the Gang of Four was arrested, Lao Tang suffered through a year long investigation before being cleared. Throughout this time their family suffered from the persecution of others. In the end, the authorities admitted that they were wrong in their case against her and reinstated her Party membership. In this interesting autobiography, Yue Daiyun tells her story of the life she and her family lived during these somewhat violent and terror-filled years in China.
Unlocking the Secrets of the Land of the Snows
Paperback ISBN: 1566631963
Recounts the history of Tibet, describes how its culture is more similar to that of central Asia than to that of China, and argues that the idea that Tibet is part of China is a relatively new development
When Heaven and Earth Changed Places
A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace
Paperback ISBN: 0452271681
A Vietnamese woman describes her journey from war-torn central Vietnam to the United States, recounting how she endured imprisonment, torture, rape, near-starvation, and the deaths of members of her family. Reprint. Movie tie-in.
Trespassers on the Roof of the World
The Secret Exploration of Tibet
Paperback ISBN: 1568360509
For nineteenth-century adventures, Tibet was the prize destination, and Lhasa, its capital situated nearly three miles above sea level, was the grandest trophy of all. The lure of this mysterious land, and its strategic importance, made it inevitable that despite the Tibetans' reluctance to end their isolation, determined travelers from Victorian Britain, Czarist Russia, America, and a half dozen other countries world try to breach the country's high walls. In this riveting narrative, Peter Hopkirk turns his storytelling skills on the fortune hunters, mystics, mountaineers, and missionaries who tried storming the roof of the world. He also examines how China sought to maintain a presence in Tibet, so that whenever the Great Game ended, Chinese influence would reign supreme. This presence culminated in the Chinese invasion of Tibet in the 1950s, and in a brief afterword, Hopkirk updates his compelling account of "the gatecrashers of Tibet" with a discussion of Tibet today-as a property still claimed and annexed by the Chinese.
Goddess on the Rise
Pilgrimage and Popular Religion in Vietnam
Paperback ISBN: 0824828011
Taylor (anthropology, Australian National U.) provides an ethnographic account of pilgrimages and the revival of popular religion in Vietnam. Focusing on the goddess known as the Lady of the Realm, whose shrine near the Vietnam-Cambodia border attracts one of the largest pilgrimages in the country, Taylor's study demonstrates the growing interest in recent years in feminine spirits. It offers insights into the "effervescence, creativity, social complexity, and interpretive ferment of popular religiosity" in contemporary Vietnam, and a unique look at the economic, cultural, and social changes occurring in the country today. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Peoples of the Great North
Art and Civilisation of Siberia
Hardcover ISBN: 1859954790
There are a great many northern peoples: Eskimos, Samoyedes, Yakuts, Kuryaks, etc. And they all have one thing in common: the far north with its vast snowy wastelands, a wilderness of whiteness where the petrifying cold penetrates to the marrow of man's bones. Gathered around the fire, source of life, protected from the elements by ice and animal skins, the peoples of the great north bring pleasure into their bleak existence by using what meagre sustenance they find in nature. Tales and histories inspire the imagination of these peoples during the long winter evenings, giving rise to a little-known culture, that of men for whom day is often night. The distinctive identity passed on to us so vividly by the peoples of the great north is gradually disappearing, particularly in the mad rush to colonize northern Siberia and in the frenzied search for wealth beneath the earth.