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East Asia at the Center


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Preface 1. The Emergence of an International System in East Asia In the beginning there was China Other rooms, other voices Empire of the Han, challenge of the Xiongnu The diffusion of power China Korea Japan Southeast Asia Conclusion 2. Shadows over Tang Splendor The Sui The Years of Tang Ascendance Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia 3. East Asia Uncentered Late Tang The Tibetan Factor The demise of the Tang Dynasty Northeast Asia Southeast Asia The Song reunify China Koryo Japan Southeast Asia in Turmoil Conclusion 4. The Mongol Ascendancy Chinggis Khan and his sons Khubilai Khan and the Chinese Asian Resistance to Khubilai as Universal Ruler The last days of the Yuan Conclusion 5. The Resurgence of Chinese Power and the Coming of Islam Rise of the Ming Koreans, Japanese, and Ryukyu Islanders Southeast Asia and the spread of Islam Ming China on the eve of the Portuguese intrusion Conclusion 6. Europe and Japan Disrupt the East Asian International Order Arrival of the Portuguese The Ming under Siege The Rise of Japanese Power Other Europeans: The Arrival of the Dutch and the English Southeast Asia: Magnet for the West Last Days of the Ming Conclusion 7. The Great Qing Empire Rebuilding of the "Chinese" empire Japan and Korea Southeast Asia in flux Approach of the British empire Conclusion 8. Triumph of the West The British are coming The Yanks are coming France's quest for glory Russia as a Pacific power And then there were the Dutch Conclusion 9. The Ascendance of Japan Restoration and self-strengthening in China The Meiji Restoration Japan ascendant The United States as an East Asian Power The Boxer War In the light of the Rising Sun Conclusion 10. Challenge to the West Development of the Japanese empire The Rise of Chinese nationalism Nationalism elsewhere in East Asia Washington and Moscow look to East Asia Nationalist revolution in China Crisis in Manchuria 11. War and Decolonization, 1932-1949 In the beginning it was Manchuria China imperiled War comes to Asia Japan's Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere The war ends in East Asia Decolonization in Southeast Asia Conclusion 12. The Cold War in Asia The occupation of Japan Revolution in China War in Korea Southeast Asia and the Cold War China, Taiwan, and the United States Conclusion 13. The Resurgence of East Asian Economic Power Japan as # 1 Little Dragons Southeast Asia China joins the world market economy The Japan that can say no Conclusion 14. On the Eve of the 21st Century Disaster at Tiananmen Democracy comes to Taiwan The Korean peninsula: democracy and nuclear weapons Red star over Hong Kong Crisis in Southeast Asia Conclusion Closing Thoughts Further Reading Index

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Cohen charts the course of cultural, intellectual, economic, and political developments in East Asia-particularly China and Japan-from the beginning of recorded time to the present day and examines such events as the rise and fall of key dynasties, the ascendance of the British empire, and the development of democracy in Asia.

About the Author

Warren I. Cohen is Distinguished University Professor of History at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC and Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is the author of several books, including East Asian Art in American Culture and America Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations, both published by Columbia.


Cohen, a prolific and estimable historian of America's relations with Asia, here explores the historical resonances of the modern system. From the prehistoric formation of political units in East Asia a mature international system arose that was centered on the Chinese Han and Tang dynasties, though Central Asia, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia each rejected or even dominated China at times. This system was successively disrupted by the Mongols, the coming of Islam, the capitalist maritime world system, and the Japanese empire's disastrous attempt to take up the mantle of imperialism from the colonialists. The Cold War and the resurgence of East Asian economic power led to the challenge of the new century. Specialists may quibble that Cohen relies more on narrative than structural analysis or theoretical exploration, but general readers and students of world history will find this stimulating and informative. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries.DCharles W. Hayford, Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Warren I. Cohen is one of the most perceptive, knowledgeable and prolific historians in the world today on the subjects of China and East Asia." - James Mann, foreign affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times "An ambitious project that takes much courage, stamina, and intellectual acumen to undertake. It is evident that Cohen has all three." - Akira Iriye, Harvard University "[Cohen] has attempted the impossible with East Asia at the Center and largely succeeded. His book is an absorbing corrective to the Eurocentric view that dominates most thinking about the world." - The Japan Times

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