Top Selling in Asia
The heartwrenching New York Times bestseller about the only known person born inside a North Korean prison camp to have escaped. Blaine Harden's latest book, King of Spies, will be available from Viking in Fall 2017.
North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk.
In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence—he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother.
The late “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il was recognized throughout the world, but his country remains sealed as his third son and chosen heir, Kim Jong Eun, consolidates power. Few foreigners are allowed in, and few North Koreans are able to leave. North Korea is hungry, bankrupt, and armed with nuclear weapons. It is also a human rights catastrophe. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people work as slaves in its political prison camps. These camps are clearly visible in satellite photographs, yet North Korea’s government denies they exist.
Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state. Escape from Camp 14 offers an unequalled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations. It is a tale of endurance and courage, survival and hope.
Now in a new edition that brings the saga of the modern world to the present in an environmental context, the book considers how and why the United States emerged as a world power in the twentieth century and became the sole superpower by the twenty-first century, and why the changed relationship of humans to the environmental likely will be the hallmark of the modern era—the “Anthopocene.” Once again arguing that the U.S. rise to global hegemon was contingent, not inevitable, Marks also points to the resurgence of Asia and the vastly changed relationship of humans to the environment that may in the long run overshadow any political and economic milestones of the past hundred years.
Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. While her beautiful mother worried that Loung was a troublemaker—that she stomped around like a thirsty cow—her beloved father knew Loung was a clever girl.
When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung’s family fled their home and moved from village to village to hide their identity, their education, their former life of privilege. Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive. Loung trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, while other siblings were sent to labor camps. As the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia, destroying the Khmer Rouge, Loung and her surviving siblings were slowly reunited.
Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother, the courage and sacrifices of the rest of her family—and sustained by her sister’s gentle kindness amid brutality—Loung forged on to create for herself a courageous new life. Harrowing yet hopeful, insightful and compelling, this story is truly unforgettable.
In 1960, President Eisenhower was focused on Laos, a tiny Southeast Asian nation few Americans had ever heard of. Washington feared the country would fall to communism, triggering a domino effect in the rest of Southeast Asia. So in January 1961, Eisenhower approved the CIA’s Operation Momentum, a plan to create a proxy army of ethnic Hmong to fight communist forces in Laos. While remaining largely hidden from the American public and most of Congress, Momentum became the largest CIA paramilitary operation in the history of the United States. The brutal war, which continued under Presidents Kennedy and Nixon, lasted nearly two decades, killed one-tenth of Laos’s total population, left thousands of unexploded bombs in the ground, and changed the nature of the CIA forever.
Joshua Kurlantzick gives us the definitive account of the Laos war and its central characters, including the four key people who led the operation—the CIA operative who came up with the idea, the Hmong general who led the proxy army in the field, the paramilitary specialist who trained the Hmong, and the State Department careerist who took control over the war as it grew.
The Laos war created a CIA that fights with real soldiers and weapons as much as it gathers secrets. Laos became a template for CIA proxy wars all over the world, from Central America in the 1980s to today’s war on terrorism, where the CIA has taken control with little oversight. Based on extensive interviews and CIA records only recently declassified, A Great Place to Have a War is a riveting, thought-provoking look at how Operation Momentum changed American foreign policy forever.
During the nineteenth century, Japan saw the rise of Homo sapiens industrialis, a new breed of human transformed by an engineered, industrialized, and poisonous environment. Toxins moved freely from mines, factory sites, and rice paddies into human bodies.
Toxic Archipelago explores how toxic pollution works its way into porous human bodies and brings unimaginable pain to some of them. Brett Walker examines startling case studies of industrial toxins that know no boundaries: deaths from insecticide contaminations; poisonings from copper, zinc, and lead mining; congenital deformities from methylmercury factory effluents; and lung diseases from sulfur dioxide and asbestos.
This powerful, probing book demonstrates how the Japanese archipelago has become industrialized over the last two hundred years -- and how people and the environment have suffered as a consequence.
An engrossing record of Mao’s impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord’s concubine; her mother’s struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents’ experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a “barefoot doctor,” a steelworker, and an electrician. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving—and ultimately uplifting—detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history.
Written with the style of a great novelist and the intrigue of a Cold War thriller, Embers of War is a landmark work that will forever change your understanding of how and why America went to war in Vietnam. Tapping newly accessible diplomatic archives in several nations, Fredrik Logevall traces the path that led two Western nations to tragically lose their way in the jungles of Southeast Asia. He brings to life the bloodiest battles of France’s final years in Indochina—and shows how, from an early point, a succession of American leaders made disastrous policy choices that put America on its own collision course with history. An epic story of wasted opportunities and deadly miscalculations, Embers of War delves deep into the historical record to provide hard answers to the unanswered questions surrounding the demise of one Western power in Vietnam and the arrival of another. Eye-opening and compulsively readable, Embers of War is a gripping, heralded work that illuminates the hidden history of the French and American experiences in Vietnam.
ONE OF THE MOST ACCLAIMED WORKS OF HISTORY IN RECENT YEARS
Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians • Winner of the American Library in Paris Book Award • Winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award • Finalist for the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • The Christian Science Monitor • The Globe and Mail
“A balanced, deeply researched history of how, as French colonial rule faltered, a succession of American leaders moved step by step down a road toward full-blown war.”—Pulitzer Prize citation
“This extraordinary work of modern history combines powerful narrative thrust, deep scholarly authority, and quiet interpretive confidence.”—Francis Parkman Prize citation
“A monumental history . . . a widely researched and eloquently written account of how the U.S. came to be involved in Vietnam . . . certainly the most comprehensive review of this period to date.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Superb . . . a product of formidable international research.”—The Washington Post
“Lucid and vivid . . . [a] definitive history.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“An essential work for those seeking to understand the worst foreign-policy adventure in American history . . . Even though readers know how the story ends—as with The Iliad—they will be as riveted by the tale as if they were hearing it for the first time.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“A remarkable new history . . . Logevall skillfully explains everything that led up to Vietnam’s fatal partition in 1954 [and] peppers the grand sweep of his book with vignettes of remarkable characters, wise and foolish.”—The Economist
“Fascinating, beautifully written . . . Logevall’s account provides much new detail and important new insights. . . . It is impossible to read the book without being struck by contemporary parallels.”—Foreign Policy
“[A] brilliant history of how the French colonial war to hang on to its colonies in Indochina became what the Vietnamese now call ‘the American war.’”—Esquire
“An excellent, valuable book.”—The Dallas Morning News
This edition focuses specifically on urban environmental issues, social and economic injustice, security and conflict, the history of urban settlement, urban models, and daily life. Building on 2015 as the Year of Water, the book introduces urban water concerns as a common undercurrent running through all chapters. The contributors explore how water affects cities and how cities affect water—from glacier loss to growing aridity, sea-level rise, increased flooding, potable water scarcity, and beyond. Vignettes of key cities give the reader a vivid understanding of daily life and the “spirit of place.”
Liberally illustrated in full color with a new selection of photographs, maps, and diagrams, the text also includes distinctive textboxes to highlight key topics such as gender and the city, Islamic fashion, and global warming. Clearly written and timely, Cities of the World will be invaluable for introductory or advanced classes on global cities, regional geography, the developing world, and urban studies.
More information is available on the author's website.
Dr Milton Osborne has been a resident, student and fascinated observer of Southeast Asia for over 50 years. This familiarity has resulted in a highly readable and lively chronicle. While giving due regard to the early history of the region, Osborne concentrates on the changes that have taken place since the eighteenth century: the impact of colonial rule, economic transformations of the 19th and 20th centuries, the emergence and triumph of the independence movements, the impact of social change and the pivotal roles played by religion, ethnic minorities and immigrant groups. He also provides an introduction to the art of the region and a comprehensive guide to literature about Southeast Asia.
Clearly written and extensively illustrated this twelfth edition of Southeast Asia: An introductory history remains a classic in the field.
'While deepening our understanding of Southeast Asia, this fine introduction reminds us of the importance of history itself. ' - Anthony Milner, Basham Professor of Asian History, Australian National University
To these observations, Kaempfer added details he had gathered from a wide reading of travelers' accounts and the reports of previous trading delegations. The result was the first scholarly study of Tokugawa Japan in the West, a work that greatly influenced the European view of Japan throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, serving as a reference for a variety of works ranging from encyclopedias to the libretto of The Mikado.
Kaempfer's work remains one of the most valuable sources for historians of the Tokugawa period. The narrative describes what no Japanese was permitted to record (the details of the shogun's castle, for example) and what no Japanese thought worthy of recording (the minutiae of everyday life). However, all previous translations of the History are flawed, being based on the work of an eighteenth-century Swiss translator or that of the German editor some fifty years later who had little knowledge of Japan and resented Kaempfer's praise of the heathen country. Beatrice Bodart-Bailey's impressive new translation of this classic, which reflects careful study of Kaempfer's original manuscript, reclaims the work for the modern reader, placing it in the context of what is currently known about Tokugawa Japan and restoring the humor and freshness of Kaempfer's observations and impressions. In Kaempfer's Japan we have, for the first time, an accurate and thoroughly readable annotated translation of Kaempfer's colorful account of pre-modern Japan.
Cacopardo outlines the history and culture of this ancient but still extant people. Exploring an array of relevant literature, he enriches our understanding of their practices and beliefs through illuminating comparisons with both the Indian religious world and the religious folklore of Europe. Bringing together several disciplinary approaches and drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, this book offers the first extended study of this little-known but fascinating Kalasha community. It will take its place as a standard international reference source on the anthropology, ethnography, and history of religions in Pakistan and Central South Asia.
Written by leading scholar Rhoads Murphey, the book uses an engaging, lively tone to chronicle the complex political, social, intellectual, and economic histories of this area. Popular because of its scope and coverage, as well as its illustrations, maps, and many boxed primary sources, the new edition of A History of Asia continues as a leader in its field.
This book is both an introduction to the major features of modern Chinese history and a resource for researchers interested in virtually any topic relating to the Chinese experience of the last 220 years. This valuable reference contains:
• a historical narrative providing a comprehensive overview of five core aspects of Chinese history: domestic politics, society, the economy, the world of culture and thought, and relations with the outside world;
• a compendium of 250 short, descriptive articles on key figures, events, and terms;
• a resource guide containing approximately 500 annotated entries for the most authoritative sources for further research in English, as well as descriptions of important films depicting modern China and a guide to electronic resources; and
• appendices, including a chronology, excerpts from key primary source documents, and a wealth of tables and graphs on demographic, social, and economic trends.
Through close examinations of sources from a time known as "The Great Peace," this fascinating volume offers fresh insights into the Tokugawa era—its political institutions, rigid class hierarchy, artistic and material culture, religious life, and more. Sources come from all levels of Japanese society, everything from government documents and household records to personal correspondence and diaries, all carefully translated and examined in light of the latest scholarship.
This new collection begins with her pathbreaking book The Cost of Living—published soon after she won the Booker Prize for her novel The God of Small Things—in which she forcefully condemned India’s nuclear tests and its construction of enormous dam projects that continue to displace countless people from their homes and communities. The End of Imagination also includes her nonfiction works Power Politics, War Talk, Public Power in the Age of Empire, and An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, which include her widely circulated and inspiring writings on the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the need to confront corporate power, and the hollowing out of democratic institutions globally.
This fully revised and updated second edition includes:
Three new chapters examining the differences and commonalities between the north and south of India;
Extended discussion on contested issues, such as the origins of the Aryans and the role of feudalism in ancient India;
New source excerpts to introduce students to the most significant works in the historiography of India, and questions for discussion;
Study guides, including a list of key issues, suggested readings and a selection of internet sources for each chapter;
Specially designed maps to illustrate different time periods and geographical regions
This richly illustrated guide provides a fascinating account of the early development of Indian culture and civilization that will appeal to all students of Indian history.
Fr. Jeremy Clarke, SJ, is an Australian Province Jesuit teaching as an assistant professor in the History Department of Boston College. He is also a school visitor in the Australian Center for China in the World at the Australian National University, Canberra.
Roaming from construction sites in Shanghai to architects’ offices in Paris, Xuefei Ren interviews hundreds of architects, developers, politicians, residents, and activists to explore this issue. She finds that in the rapidly transforming cities of modern China, iconic designs from prestigious international architects help private developers to distinguish their projects, government officials to advance their careers, and the Chinese state to announce the arrival of modern China on the world stage.
China leads the way in the globalization of architecture, a process whose ramifications can be felt from Beijing to Dubai to Basel. Connecting the dots between real estate speculation, megaproject construction, residential displacement, historical preservation, housing rights, and urban activism, Building Globalization reveals the contradictions and consequences of this new, global urban frontier.
General Joseph W. Stilwell was a man who loved China deeply and knew its people as few Americans ever have. Barbara W. Tuchman’s groundbreaking narrative follows Stilwell from the time he arrived in China during the Revolution of 1911, through his tours of duty in Peking and Tientsin in the 1920s and ’30s, to his return as theater commander in World War II, when the Nationalist government faced attack from both Japanese invaders and Communist insurgents. Peopled by warlords, ambassadors, and missionaries, this classic biography of the cantankerous but level-headed “Vinegar Joe” sparkles with Tuchman’s genius for animating the people who shaped history.
Praise for Stilwell and the American Experience in China
“Tuchman’s best book . . . so large in scope, so crammed with information, so clear in exposition, so assured in tone that one is tempted to say it is not a book but an education.”—The New Yorker
“The most interesting and informative book on U.S.–China relations . . . a brilliant, lucid and authentic account.”—The Nation
“A fantastic and complex story finely told.”—The New York Times Book Review
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Welcome to the secret world of the ninja master! The Illustrated Ninja Handbook is your ultimate guide to the esoteric knowledge and teachings of the ancient Japanese shinobi. It provides ninjitsu devotees with the first detailed understanding of this shadowy and mysterious martial art form.
This handbook contains step-by-step instructions that allow you to master the 40 most devastating ninja fighting techniques. It was created with the blessing of legendary ninjutsu master Soke Masaaki Hatsumi, who taught for many generations in the Bujinkan School—generally recognized as the leading ninjutsu school in the world.
The Bujinkan Dojo encompasses nine separate ryu-ha or martial arts schools that are based in Japan and headed by Hatsumi. Bujinkan ninjas use both armed and unarmed fighting techniques, with weapons such as swords, bamboo shinai, and staffs. They also learn to defend themselves unarmed against weapons attacks. Author Remigiusz Borda studied and taught Bujinkan ninjutsu for many decades, and in this book presents the unique system created by Masaaki Hatsumi—the 34th Grandmaster and head of the Togakure-ryu Ninjutsu lineage.
The Illustrated Ninja Handbook is based on hundreds of years of actual ninja combat experience and contains the traditional knowledge of the legendary Shinobi warrior clan who were instrumental in helping found the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Ninjutsu, the least understood of the Japanese martial arts, is an ancient fighting style emphasizing natural movement, responsiveness to adversaries, and absolute practicality. In feudal Japan, ninja were feared for their skill in espionage and, particularly, assassination. Masters of weaponry, stealth, and martial techniques, ninja were credited with supernatural powers because of the near-invincibility of their unique and deadly art.
In The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art, Black Belt Hall of Fame member, Stephen K. Hayes, reveals the secrets that lead to the perception of the ninja as warriors of almost sorcerous skill—the art of invisibility, special tools and weapons, and psychological training enabling the ninja to gain advantage in any situation.
Chapters include:Perspective—Origin; Organization; Training; At the Height of Power; The Decline; Ninjutsu in the Modern WorldSearch for the NinjaUnarmed Combat—The Ninja Fists; Fighting Postures; Other FactorsWeaponry—Chains and Cords; Sticks and Staffs; Canes with Concealed Weapons; The Ninja Sword; Throwing BladesThe Way of Invisibility—Sense Deception; Phantom Steps; Reconnaissance; Blending with the Night; Attacking the Eyes; The Art of DisguiseShadow Warriors—Espionage; Commando TacticsThe Realm of the Spirit—Psychological Warfare; The Force of the Killer; The Great Harmony
This new edition expands the coverage from where the first edition ended in 1995 to 2006. It includes new material on democratization, party politics, and the independence movement. Collectively, the chapters take the reader from the geographical and climatological setting, through the stages of premodern history and contact with China and the West, through the Japanese occupation, to the successful establishment of a modern state.
So, what makes a Hindu? Why is so little heard from the real practitioners of the everyday faith? Why does information never go beyond clichés? Being Hindu is a practitioner’s guide that takes the reader on a journey to very simply understand what the Hindu message is, where it stands in the clash of civilizations between Islam and Christianity, and why the Hindu way could yet be the path for plurality and progress in the twenty-first century.
John A. Adams Jr. provides a new and compelling exploration of these pivotal events by recounting the history of Bataan and Corregidor through the eyes of 89 soldiers and officers who were former students and citizen soldiers from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. All were products of the Corps of Cadets, and indeed no other institution could boast of such a large deployment in the opening of the war.
While many words have been written on Bataan and Corregidor, none have taken the approach of collective biography as The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor does here. As a result, this book is not only a new contribution to the history of World War II but also stands to be a landmark publication on the history of Texas A&M University.
Witsoe looks at the history of colonialism in India and its role in both shaping modern caste identities and linking locally powerful caste groups to state institutions, which has effectively created a postcolonial patronage state. He then looks at the rise of lower-caste politics in one of India’s poorest and most populous states, Bihar, showing how this increase in democratic participation has radically threatened the patronage state by systematically weakening its institutions and disrupting its development projects. By depicting democracy and development as they truly are in India—in tension—Witsoe reveals crucial new empirical and theoretical insights about the long-term trajectory of democratization in the larger postcolonial world.
Drawing on years of research in Japan, Michael Dylan Foster unpacks the history and cultural context of yokai, tracing their roots, interpreting their meanings, and introducing people who have hunted them through the ages. In this delightful and accessible narrative, readers will explore the roles played by these mysterious beings within Japanese culture and will also learn of their abundance and variety through detailed entries, some with original illustrations, on more than fifty individual creatures. The Book of Yokai provides a lively excursion into Japanese folklore and its ever-expanding influence on global popular culture. It also invites readers to examine how people create, transmit, and collect folklore, and how they make sense of the mysteries in the world around them. By exploring yokai as a concept, we can better understand broader processes of tradition, innovation, storytelling, and individual and communal creativity.
Whether you're traveling to major destinations such as Bangkok and Phuket or want to experience diving in Ko Tao, elephant riding in Chiang Mai, or the monuments in Wat Si Chum, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Thailand explores the culture, history, and architecture of this beautiful and diverse nation.
Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Thailand.
+ Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.
+ Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.
+ Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.
+ Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.
+ Area maps marked with sights.
+ Detailed city maps include a street finder index for easy navigation.
+ Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.
+ Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations.
With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Thailand truly shows you what others only tell you.
"With arresting anecdote, colorful detail, and all the excitement of a contemporary novel, Andrade reconfigures the debate between revisionists and neotraditionalists on the question of whether, and to what extent, Europe's early modern preeminence reflected technological and military superiority over Asia. This book's analysis is as original as it is convincing."--Victor Lieberman, University of Michigan
"Based on impressive readings in Chinese and Dutch sources, Lost Colony examines fascinating interpretive issues on the changing nature of military power in various parts of the early modern world. Strong and important, this book tells a good story."--John E. Wills, Jr., author of 1688: A Global History
"This engaging and detailed book seeks middle ground in a longstanding debate regarding the alleged exceptionalism of European warfare. Examining a key conflict between Asian and European forces, Andrade opens a window on the Dutch colonial endeavor in Asia and its often symbiotic relationship with Chinese southern ventures, explaining how, with grit and luck, the Chinese gained Taiwan by successfully adapting and counteracting the military techniques of their opponents."--Michael Laffan, Princeton University
Park Wan-suh was born in 1931 in a small village near Kaesong, a protected hamlet of no more than twenty families. Park was raised believing that "no matter how many hills and brooks you crossed, the whole world was Korea and everyone in it was Korean." But then the tendrils of the Japanese occupation, which had already worked their way through much of Korean society before her birth, began to encroach on Park's idyll, complicating her day-to-day life.
With acerbic wit and brilliant insight, Park describes the characters and events that came to shape her young life, portraying the pervasive ways in which collaboration, assimilation, and resistance intertwined within the Korean social fabric before the outbreak of war. Most absorbing is Park's portrait of her mother, a sharp and resourceful widow who both resisted and conformed to stricture, becoming an enigmatic role model for her struggling daughter. Balancing period detail with universal themes, Park weaves a captivating tale that charms, moves, and wholly engrosses.
Though the Company held a monopoly on English overseas trade to Asia, the Court of Directors extended the right to trade in Asia to their employees, creating an unusual situation in which employees worked both for themselves and for the Company as overseas merchants. Building on the organizational infrastructure of the Company and the sophisticated commercial institutions of the markets of the East, employees constructed a cohesive internal network of peer communications that directed English trading ships during their voyages. This network integrated Company operations, encouraged innovation, and increased the Company’s flexibility, adaptability, and responsiveness to local circumstance.
Between Monopoly and Free Trade highlights the dynamic potential of social networks in the early modern era.
In vivid, inventive, and engaging prose, Pandian weaves together ethnographic encounters, archival investigations, and elements drawn from Tamil poetry, prose, and popular cinema. Tacking deftly between ploughed soils and plundered orchards, schoolroom lessons and stationhouse registers, household hearths and riverine dams, he reveals moral life in the postcolonial present as a palimpsest of traces inherited from multiple pasts. Pursuing these legacies through the fragmentary play of desire, dream, slander, and counsel, Pandian calls attention not only to the moral potential of ordinary existence, but also to the inescapable force of accident, chance, and failure in the making of ethical lives. Rarely are the moral coordinates of modern power sketched with such intimacy and delicacy.
Historians have long argued that gunpowder weapons helped Europeans establish global hegemony. Yet the inhabitants of what is today China not only invented guns and bombs but also, as Andrade shows, continued to innovate in gunpowder technology through the early 1700s—much longer than previously thought. Why, then, did China become so vulnerable? Andrade argues that one significant reason is that it was out of practice fighting wars, having enjoyed nearly a century of relative peace, since 1760. Indeed, he demonstrates that China—like Europe—was a powerful military innovator, particularly during times of great warfare, such as the violent century starting after the Opium War, when the Chinese once again quickly modernized their forces. Today, China is simply returning to its old position as one of the world's great military powers.
By showing that China’s military dynamism was deeper, longer lasting, and more quickly recovered than previously understood, The Gunpowder Age challenges long-standing explanations of the so-called Great Divergence between the West and Asia.
Oriented to projects of selfhood, memory, and social affiliation, popular photographs recast national iconographies in an intimate register. They convey the longings of Indonesian national modernity: nostalgia for rural idylls and “tradition,” desires for the trappings of modernity and affluence, dreams of historical agency, and hopes for political authenticity. Yet photography also brings people into contact with ideas and images that transcend and at times undermine a strictly national frame. Photography’s primary practitioners in the postcolonial era have been Chinese Indonesians. Acting as cultural brokers who translate global and colonial imageries into national idioms, these members of a transnational minority have helped shape the visual contours of Indonesian belonging even as their own place within the nation remains tenuous. Refracted Visions illuminates the ways that everyday photographic practices generate visual habits that in turn give rise to political subjects and communities.