The Chinese Machiavelli intends to help Western readers, who may be puzzled by Chinese diplomatic and military strategy, understand the principles that have guided both past and present Chinese leaders. For instance, why have modern communist Chinese leaders often befriended right-wing European politicians who are out of office rather than left-wing leaders in power? Why did they entertain President Nixon while the United States was at war with North Vietnam? Within the framework of a chronological history concentrating on power politics and using the social and cultural scene as a backdrop, the Bloodworths use China's long history to find answers.
Peter Li's preface for this new edition explains the structure of the book and offers a penetrating analysis of the authors' style and method. Although The Chinese Machiavelli is authored for the general public rather than for the specialist, the latter will also benefit from reading this history. The authors describe the continuity of Chinese history and reveal how knowledge of China's past sheds light on the political behavior of China's rulers today.
It’s all in a day’s work for the foreign correspondent, says author Dennis Bloodworth, who ought to know. He took it all in his stride during the more than 30 years that he spent as foreign correspondent of the London Observer.
For those who have always wondered how the news gets into the papers, here’s the story behind the stories, and even some stories that couldn’t be told
In the fall of 1944, a massive American bomber carrying eleven men vanished over the Pacific islands of Palau, leaving a trail of mysteries. According to mission reports from the Army Air Forces, the plane crashed in shallow water—but when investigators went to find it, the wreckage wasn’t there. Witnesses saw the crew parachute to safety, yet the airmen were never seen again. Some of their relatives whispered that they had returned to the United States in secret and lived in hiding. But they never explained why.
For sixty years, the U.S. government, the children of the missing airmen, and a maverick team of scientists and scuba divers searched the islands for clues. With every clue they found, the mystery only deepened.
Now, in a spellbinding narrative, Wil S. Hylton weaves together the true story of the missing men, their final mission, the families they left behind, and the real reason their disappearance remained shrouded in secrecy for so long. This is a story of love, loss, sacrifice, and faith—of the undying hope among the families of the missing, and the relentless determination of scientists, explorers, archaeologists, and deep-sea divers to solve one of the enduring mysteries of World War II.
Arranged chronologically, this anthology is divided into four parts, beginning at the dawn of literate Chinese civilization with the Oracle-Bone inscriptions of the late Shang dynasty (1571–1045 B.C.E.) and continuing through the end of the Ming dynasty (C.E. 1644). Each chapter has an introduction that provides useful historical context and offers interpretive strategies for understanding the readings.
The first part, The Chinese Tradition in Antiquity, considers the early development of Chinese civilization and includes selections from Confucius's Analects, the texts of Mencius and Laozi, as well as other key texts from the Confucian, Daoist, and Legalist schools. Part 2, The Making of a Classical Culture, focuses on Han China with readings from the Classic of Changes (I Jing), the Classic of Filiality, major Han syntheses, and the great historians of the Han dynasty. The development of Buddhism, from the earliest translations from Sanskrit to the central texts of the Chan school (which became Zen in Japan), is the subject of the third section of the book. Titled Later Daoism and Mahayana Buddhism in China, this part also covers the teachings of Wang Bi, Daoist religion, and texts of the major schools of Buddhist doctrine and practice. The final part, The Confucian Revival and Neo-Confucianism, details the revival of Confucian thought in the Tang, Song, and Ming periods, with historical documents that link philosophical thought to political, social, and educational developments in late imperial China.
With annotations, a detailed chronology, glossary, and a new introduction by the editors, Sources of Chinese Tradition will continue to be a standard resource, guidebook, and introduction to Chinese civilization well into the twenty-first century.
Fighting his way to power on the remote steppes of Mongolia, Genghis Khan developed revolutionary military strategies and weaponry that emphasized rapid attack and siege warfare, which he then brilliantly used to overwhelm opposing armies in Asia, break the back of the Islamic world, and render the armored knights of Europe obsolete. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongol army never numbered more than 100,000 warriors, yet it subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans conquered in four hundred. With an empire that stretched from Siberia to India, from Vietnam to Hungary, and from Korea to the Balkans, the Mongols dramatically redrew the map of the globe, connecting disparate kingdoms into a new world order.
But contrary to popular wisdom, Weatherford reveals that the Mongols were not just masters of conquest, but possessed a genius for progressive and benevolent rule. On every level and from any perspective, the scale and scope
of Genghis Khan’s accomplishments challenge the limits of imagination. Genghis Khan was an innovative leader, the first ruler in many conquered countries to put the power of law above his own power, encourage religious freedom, create public schools, grant diplomatic immunity, abolish torture, and institute free trade. The trade routes he created became lucrative pathways for commerce, but also for ideas, technologies, and expertise that transformed the way people lived. The Mongols introduced the first international paper currency and postal system and developed and spread revolutionary technologies like printing, the cannon, compass, and abacus. They took local foods and products like lemons, carrots, noodles, tea, rugs, playing cards, and pants and turned them into staples of life around the world. The Mongols were the architects of a new way of life at a pivotal time in history.
In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan, from the story of his relentless rise through Mongol tribal culture to the waging of his devastatingly successful wars and the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed. This dazzling work of revisionist history doesn’t just paint an unprecedented portrait of a great leader and his legacy, but challenges us to reconsider how the modern world was made.
From the Hardcover edition.
From the building of the transcontinental railroad to the celebrity of Jeremy Lin, people of Asian descent have been involved in and affected by the history of America. A New History of Asian America gives twenty-first-century students a clear, comprehensive, and contemporary introduction to this vital history.
The queens of the Silk Route turned their father’s conquests into the world’s first truly international empire, fostering trade, education, and religion throughout their territories and creating an economic system that stretched from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. Outlandish stories of these powerful queens trickled out of the Empire, shocking the citizens of Europe and and the Islamic world.
After Genghis Khan’s death in 1227, conflicts erupted between his daughters and his daughters-in-law; what began as a war between powerful women soon became a war against women in power as brother turned against sister and son against mother. At the end of this epic struggle, the dynasty of the Mongol queens had seemingly been extinguished forever, as even their names were erased from the historical record.
Two centuries later, one of the most unusual and important warrior queens of history--Queen Mandhuhai--arose to avenge the wrongs, rescue the tattered shreds of the Mongol Empire, and restore order to a shattered world. She led her soldiers through victory after victory. In her thirties she married a seventeen-year-old prince, and she bore eight children in the midst of a career spent fighting the Ming Dynasty of China on one side and a series of Muslim warlords on the other. Her unprecedented success on the battlefield provoked the Chinese into the most frantic and expensive phase of wall building in history. Charging into battle even while pregnant, she fought to reassemble the Mongol Nation of Genghis Khan and to preserve it for her own children to rule in peace.
Despite their mystery and the efforts to erase them from our collective memory, the deeds of these Mongol queens inspired great artists from Chaucer and Milton to Goethe and Puccini. And so their stories live on today. With The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, Jack Weatherford restores the queens’ missing chapter to the annals of history.
From the Hardcover edition.
Using a new translation by James Trapp and including editorial notes, this edition of The Art of War lays the original Chinese text opposite the modern English translation. The book contains the full original 13 chapters on such topics as laying plans, attacking by stratagem, weaponry, terrain and the use of spies. Sun Tzu addresses different campaign situations, marching, energy and how to exploit your enemy’s weaknesses.
Of immense influence to great leaders across millennia, The Art of War is a classic text richly deserving this fresh modern translation.
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.
A superb collection by the foremost scholars in the field, Sources of Korean Tradition is supplemented by a bibliography and prefaces by both editors. An impressive storehouse for the grand corpus of thought, beliefs, and customs held by people of Korea for centuries, this volume is a valuable companion for those interested in the history of Korea and East Asian studies.
Originally published in a single hardcover book, Volume 2 is now available as an abridged, two-part paperback. Part 1 covers the Tokugawa period to 1868, including texts that address the spread of neo-Confucianism and Buddhism and the initial encounters of Japan and the West. Part 2 begins with the Meiji period and ends at the new millennium, shedding light on such major movements as the Enlightenment, constitutionalism, nationalism, socialism, and feminism, and the impact of the postwar occupation. Commentary by major scholars and comprehensive bibliographies and indexes are included.
Together, these readings map out the development of modern Japanese civilization and illuminate the thought and teachings of its intellectual, political, and religious leaders.
Over the course of three years, journalist Thomas Laird spent more than sixty hours with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in candid, one-on-one interviews that ranged widely, covering not only the history of Tibet but science, reincarnation, and Buddhism. Laird brings these meetings to life in this vibrant, monumental work that outlines the essence of thousands of years of civilization, myth, and spirituality.
Tibet’s story is rich with tradition and filled with promise. It begins with the Bodhisattva Chenrizi (“The Holy One”) whose spirit many Tibetans believe resides within the Dalai Lama. We learn the origins of Buddhism, and about the era of Great Tibetan Emperors, whose reign stretched from southwestern China to Northern India. His Holiness introduces us to Tibet’s greatest yogis and meditation masters, and explains how the institution of the Dalai Lama was founded. Laird explores, with His Holiness, Tibet’s relations with the Mongols, the Golden Age under the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, Tibet’s years under Manchu overlords, modern independence in the early twentieth century, and the Dalai Lama’s personal meetings with Mao just before His Holiness fled into exile in 1959. The Story of Tibet is “a tenderly crafted study that is equal parts love letter, traditional history, and oral history” (Publishers Weekly).
“Captivating reading.” —Tricycle
Beginning with Qing civilization and continuing to contemporary times, volume II brings together key source texts from more than three centuries of Chinese history, with opening essays by noted China authorities providing context for readers not familiar with the period in question.
Here are just a few of the topics covered in this second volume of Sources of Chinese Tradition:
Early Sino-Western contacts in the seventeenth century;
Four centuries of Chinese reflections on differences between Eastern and Western civilizations;
Nineteenth- and twentieth-century reform movements, with treatises on women's rights, modern science, and literary reform;
Controversies over the place of Confucianism in modern Chinese society;
The nationalist revolution—including readings from Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek;
The communist revolution—with central writings by Mao Zedong;
Works from contemporary China—featuring political essays from Deng Xiaoping and dissidents including Wei Jingsheng.
With more than two hundred selections in lucid, readable translation by today's most renowned experts on Chinese language and civilization, Sources of Chinese Tradition will continue to be recognized as the standard for source readings on Chinese civilization, an indispensable learning tool for scholars and students of Asian civilizations.
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.
A first-hand account of China's cultural revolution. Nien Cheng, an anglophile and fluent English-speaker who worked for Shell in Shanghai under Mao, was put under house arrest by Red Guards in 1966 and subsequently jailed. All attempts to make her confess to the charges of being a British spy failed; all efforts to indoctrinate her were met by a steadfast and fearless refusal to accept the terms offered by her interrogators. When she was released from prison she was told that her daughter had committed suicide. In fact Meiping had been beaten to death by Maoist revolutionaries.
In 2005, veteran diplomat and Asia analyst Jeffrey Bader met for the first time with the then-junior U.S. senator from Illinois. When Barack Obama entered the White House a few years later, Bader was named the senior director for East Asian affairs on the National Security Council, becoming one of a handful of advisers responsible for formulating and implementing the administration's policy regarding that key region. For obvious reasons—a booming economy, expanding military power, and increasing influence over the region—the looming impact of a rising China dominated their efforts.
Obama's original intent was to extend U.S. influence and presence in East Asia, which he felt had been neglected by a Bush administration fixated on the Middle East, particularly Iraq, and the war on terror. China's rise, particularly its military buildup, was heightening anxiety among its neighbors, including key U.S. allies Japan and South Korea. Bader explains the administration's efforts to develop stable relations with China while improving relationships with key partners worried about Beijing's new assertiveness.
In Obama and China's Rise, Bader reveals what he did, discusses what he saw, and interprets what it meant—first during the Obama campaign, and then for the administration. The result is an illuminating backstage view of the formulation and execution of American foreign policy as well as a candid assessment of both. Bader combines insightful and authoritative foreign policy analysis with a revealing and humanizing narrative of his own personal journey.
After one traumatic year, she came home, a Vietnam veteran. Coming home was nearly as devastating as the time she spent in Asia. Nothing was the same -- including Lynda herself. Viewed by many as a murderer instead of a healer, she felt isolated and angry. The anger turned to depression; like many other Vietnam veterans she suffered from delayed stress syndrome. Working in hospitals brought back chilling scenes of hopelessly wounded soldiers. A marriage ended in divorce. The war that was fought physically halfway around the world had become a personal, internal battle.
Home before Morning is the story of a woman whose courage, stamina, and personal history make this a compelling autobiography. It is also the saga of others who went to war to aid the wounded and came back wounded -- physically and emotionally -- themselves. And, it is the true story of one person's triumphs: her understanding of, and coming to terms with, her destiny.
In the first 1,000 years after Christ, merchants, missionaries, monks, mendicants, and military men traveled the vast network of Central Asian tracks that became known as the Silk Road. Whitfield recounts the lives of twelve individuals who lived at different times during this period, including two characters new to this edition: an African shipmaster and a Persian traveler and writer during the Arab caliphate. With these additional tales, Whitfield extends both geographical and chronological scope, bringing into view the maritime links across the Indian Ocean and depicting the network of north-south routes from the Baltic to the Gulf.
Throughout the narrative, Whitfield conveys a strong sense of what life was like for ordinary men and women on the Silk Road, the individuals usually forgotten to history. A work of great scholarship, Life along the Silk Road continues to be both accessible and entertaining.
The events that culminated in the fall of Japan - which forever changed the course of diplomacy, geopolitics, and warfare in the twentieth century - are vividly recreated through dramatic first-hand accounts of the major participants on both sides of the Pacific.
They include: Harry Truman, the inexperienced American president who made the decision that would lead to unprecedented death and destruction; the war-mongering, but mysterious, Japanese Emperor Hirohito, who ultimately presided over his country's surrender; General Leslie Groves, the no-nonsense director of the Manhattan Project; and Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the plane, the Enola Gay, which dropped the very first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945.
While others have used income levels to conclude that the Japanese household was relatively poor in those centuries, Hanley examines the material culture—food, sanitation, housing, and transportation. How did ordinary people conserve the limited resources available in this small island country? What foods made up the daily diet and how were they prepared? How were human wastes disposed of? How long did people live? Hanley answers all these questions and more in an accessible style and with frequent comparisons with Western lifestyles. Her methods allow for cross-cultural comparisons between Japan and the West as well as Japan and the rest of Asia. They will be useful to anyone interested in the effects of modernization on daily life.
Bret Hinsch's reconstruction of the Chinese homosexual past reveals unexpected scenes. An emperor on his deathbed turns over the seals of the empire to a male beloved; two men marry each other with elaborate wedding rituals; parents sell their son into prostitution. The tradition portrays men from all levels of society—emperors, transvestite actors, rapists, elegant scholars, licentious monks, and even the nameless poor.
Drawing from dynastic histories, erotic novels, popular Buddhist tracts, love poetry, legal cases, and joke books, Passions of the Cut Sleeve evokes the complex and fascinating male homosexual tradition in China from the Bronze Age until its decline in recent times.
The New History of Korean Civilization explores the existence of a distinctive Korean culture established by the Korean people and separate from its Chinese and Japanese counterparts. Author Chai-Shin Yu, distinguished professor of Korean studies, surveys the history of cultural life in Korea and provides a detailed account of this countrys remarkable heritage.
From the prehistoric age through the rise of the Choson Dynasty and up to the creation of the Republic of Korea, this concise history traces the development of history, politics, philosophy, religion, literature, and art. Chai-Shin Yu shows how Korean culture also played a vital role in the formation of Japanese culture.
Written for the purpose of introducing the roots of Korean culture to Westerners and second-generation Koreans living in the West, The New History of Korean Civilization is a bold addition to the historiography of Korea.
Some of the most memorable episodes and figures in Chinese literature appear within its pages, and Three Kingdoms has had a profound influence on personal, social, and political behavior, even language usage, in the daily life of people in China today. The novel has inspired countless works of theater and art, and, more recently, has been the source for movies and a television series. Long popular in other countries of East Asia, such as Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, Three Kingdoms has also been introduced to younger generations around the globe through a series of extremely popular computer games. This study helps create a better understanding of the work’s unique place in Chinese culture.
Hong Kong and Southeast Asia are home to five hundred million people, yet their economies are dominated by only fifty families whose interests range from banking to real estate, shipping to sugar, gambling to lumber. At their peak, eight of the world’s two dozen richest men were Southeast Asian, but their names would not be familiar to most regular readers of The Wall Street Journal.
A complex mythology surrounds these billionaires, but in Asian Godfathers, Joe Studwell finds that the facts are even more remarkable than the myths. Studwell has spent fifteen years as a reporter in the region, and he marshals his unprecedented sources to paint intimate and revealing portraits of the men who control Southeast Asia. Studwell also provides us with a rich and deep understanding of the broader historic, economic, and political influences that have shaped Southeast Asia over the past 150 years.
Asian Godfathers is a riveting and illuminating book that lifts the curtain on a world of staggering secrecy and hypocrisy, and reveals—for the first time—who the leaders of one of the planet’s most important and tumultuous markets really are, why they got to the top, and how they keep themselves there.
“The romp around the region’s pleasure domes is a blast.” —The Wall Street Journal Asia
* readings on early and medieval Shinto and on the tea ceremony,
* readings on state Buddhism and Chinese political thought influential in Japan, and
* sections on women's education, medieval innovations in the uses of history, and laws and precepts of the medieval warrior houses.
Together, the selections shed light on the development of Japanese civilization in its own terms, without reference to Western parallels, and will continue to assist generations of students and lay readers in understanding Japanese culture.
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.
Starting from the catastrophic floods and terrorist attacks of recent years, Prakash reaches back to the sixteenth-century Portuguese conquest to reveal the stories behind Mumbai's historic journey. Examining Mumbai's role as a symbol of opportunity and reinvention, he looks at its nineteenth-century development under British rule and its twentieth-century emergence as a fabled city on the sea. Different layers of urban experience come to light as he recounts the narratives of the Nanavati murder trial and the rise and fall of the tabloid Blitz, and Mumbai's transformation from the red city of trade unions and communists into the saffron city of Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena. Starry-eyed planners and elite visionaries, cynical leaders and violent politicians of the street, land sharks and underworld dons jostle with ordinary citizens and poor immigrants as the city copes with the dashed dreams of postcolonial urban life and lurches into the seductions of globalization.
Shedding light on the city's past and present, Mumbai Fables offers an unparalleled look at this extraordinary metropolis.
In Deadly Embrace, Bruce Riedel explores the forces behind these developments, explaining how and why the history of Pakistan-U.S. relations has unfolded as it has. He explains what the United States can do now to repair the damage and how it can avoid making similar mistakes in dealing with extremist forces in Pakistan and beyond.
Riedel is one of America's foremost authorities on U.S. security, South Asia, and terrorism, and he helped to craft President Obama's 2009 speech referring to the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands as the "most dangerous region of the world." He follows up The Search for al Qaeda, his influential 2008 analysis of the terror network's ideology and leadership, with a sober, authoritative, and sometimes alarming look at the history, importance, and current role of Pakistan, epicenter of the global jihad movement, beginning with the history of U.S.-Pakistan relations since the partitioning of the subcontinent in 1947.
The relationship between Pakistan and America is a fascinating yet muddled story, meandering through periods of friendship and enmity, symbiosis and distrust: it's no wonder that people in both nations are confused. Deadly Embrace explains how the United States, on several occasions, actually helped the foes of democracy in Pakistan and aided in the development of the very enemies it is now fighting in the region. The book seeks to unravel this paradox, revealing and interpreting the tortuous path of relations between two very different nations, which remain, in many ways, stuck with each other.
Why does it seem different now? Why does Osama bin Laden see 1918, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, as the year everything changed? These issues are explained in historical detail here, in a way that deliberately seeks to go behind the rhetoric to the roots of present conflicts. A Brief History of the Middle East is essential reading for an intelligent reader wanting to understand what one of the world's key regions is all about.
Fully updated with a new section on the Iraq Invasion of 2003, the question of Iran and the full context of the Isreali/Palestine conflict.
Many damaging myths about the Vietnam era persist, including the accusations that antiwar activists routinely jeered and spat at returning soldiers or that the war finally ended because Congress cut off its funding. Writing in a clear and accessible style, Allen reclaims the stories of the courageous GI revolt; its dynamic relationship with the civil rights movement and the peace movement; the development of coffee houses where these groups came to speak out, debate, and organize; and the struggles waged throughout barracks, bases, and military prisons to challenge the rule of military command.
Allen’s analysis of the US failure in Vietnam is also the story of the hubris of US imperial overreach, a new chapter of which is unfolding in the Middle East today.
Joe Allen is a regular contributor to the International Socialist Review and a longstanding social justice fighter, involved in the ongoing struggles for labor, the abolition of the death penalty, and to free the political prisoner Gary Tyler.
Katrin Hansing is a social anthropologist who has worked on numerous Cuba-related issues. Her main areas of interests and expertise include: migration, race/ethnicity, and identity. She is currently the director of a German Research Council funded research project on Cuba's social collaboration ties in Africa.
Offering an explanation for these unexpected trends, Zheng Wang follows the Communist government's ideological reeducation of the public, which relentlessly portrays China as the victim of foreign imperialist bullying during "one hundred years of humiliation." By concentrating on the telling and teaching of history in today's China, Wang illuminates the thinking of the young patriots who will lead this rising power in the twenty-first century.
Wang visits China's primary schools and memory sites and reads its history textbooks, arguing that China's rise should not be viewed through a single lens, such as economics or military growth, but from a more comprehensive perspective that takes national identity and domestic discourse into account. Since it is the prime raw material for constructing China's national identity, historical memory is the key to unlocking the inner mystery of the Chinese. From this vantage point, Wang tracks the CCP's use of history education to glorify the party, reestablish its legitimacy, consolidate national identity, and justify one-party rule in the post-Tiananmen and post–Cold War era. The institutionalization of this manipulated historical consciousness now directs political discourse and foreign policy, and Wang demonstrates its important role in China's rise.
Throughout history the world's greatest conquerors have made their mark not just on the battlefield, but in the societies they have transformed. Genghis Khan conquered by arms and bravery, but he ruled by commerce and religion. He created the world's greatest trading network and drastically lowered taxes for merchants, but he knew that if his empire was going to last, he would need something stronger and more binding than trade. He needed religion. And so, unlike the Christian, Taoist and Muslim conquerors who came before him, he gave his subjects freedom of religion. Genghis lived in the 13th century, but he struggled with many of the same problems we face today: How should one balance religious freedom with the need to reign in fanatics? Can one compel rival religions - driven by deep seated hatred--to live together in peace?
A celebrated anthropologist whose bestselling Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World radically transformed our understanding of the Mongols and their legacy, Jack Weatherford has spent eighteen years exploring areas of Mongolia closed until the fall of the Soviet Union and researching The Secret History of the Mongols, an astonishing document written in code that was only recently discovered. He pored through archives and found groundbreaking evidence of Genghis's influence on the founding fathers and his essential impact on Thomas Jefferson. Genghis Khan and the Quest for God is a masterpiece of erudition and insight, his most personal and resonant work.
From the Hardcover edition.
Engineered by a politically disenfranchised, numerically small, and economically exploited group, Chinese food's tour de America is an epic story of global cultural encounter. It reflects not only changes in taste but also a growing appetite for a more leisurely lifestyle. Americans fell in love with Chinese food not because of its gastronomic excellence but because of its affordability and convenience, which is why they preferred the quick and simple dishes of China while shunning its haute cuisine. Epitomized by chop suey, American Chinese food was a forerunner of McDonald's, democratizing the once-exclusive dining-out experience for such groups as marginalized Anglos, African Americans, and Jews.
The rise of Chinese food is also a classic American story of immigrant entrepreneurship and perseverance. Barred from many occupations, Chinese Americans successfully turned Chinese food from a despised cuisine into a dominant force in the restaurant market, creating a critical lifeline for their community. Chinese American restaurant workers developed the concept of the open kitchen and popularized the practice of home delivery. They streamlined certain Chinese dishes, such as chop suey and egg foo young, turning them into nationally recognized brand names.
In 1962, as millions of Chinese citizens were gripped by Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution and the Red Guards enforced a brutal regime of communism, a boy was born to a poor family in southern China. This family—the Chens—had once been respected landlords in the village of Yellow Stone, but now they were among the least fortunate families in the country, despised for their "capitalist" past. Grandpa Chen couldn't leave the house for fear of being beaten to death; the children were spit upon in the street; and their father was regularly hauled off to labor camps, leaving the family of eight without a breadwinner. Da Chen, the youngest child, seemed destined for a life of poverty, shame, and hunger.
But winning humor and an indomitable spirit can be found in the most unexpected places. Colors of the Mountain is a story of triumph, a memoir of a boyhood full of spunk, mischief, and love. The young Da Chen is part Horatio Alger, part Holden Caul-field; he befriends a gang of young hoodlums as well as the elegant, elderly Chinese Baptist woman who teaches him English and opens the door to a new life. Chen's remarkable story is full of unforgettable scenes of rural Chinese life: feasting on oysters and fried peanuts on New Year's Day, studying alongside classmates who wear red armbands and quote Mao, and playing and working in the peaceful rice fields near his village.
Da Chen's story is both captivating and endearing, filled with the universal human quality that distinguishes the very best memoirs. It proves once again that the concerns of childhood transcend time and place.
From the Hardcover edition.