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In recent decades there has been a dramatic transformation around the Pacific Rim. No longer 'the Far East' - that exotic, mysterious land at the distant fringe of Western consciousness - East Asia today commands the attention of the entire world. In East Asia, Arthur Cotterell condenses into a compact, highly readable book an immense amount of historical knowledge, placing this amazing economic development in its proper perspective - an Asian one. Cotterell ranges from the dawn of Chinese civilization to Japan's emergence as the first East Asian nation to develop an industrial economy. And he brings his history up to the present, examining America's setbacks in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, Japan's rise as an economic superpower, and the recent histories of countries such as reunited Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. Cotterell goes on to suggest that Japan will eventually be overtaken by its neighbours, concluding that relations between the Chinese and the Japanese will ultimately determine the future of East Asia, although over the coming decades the key Pacific partners remain China and the United States. With spectacular historical perspective, Arthur Cotterell performs an invaluable service to all those who wish to have deeper understanding of our newest, and most competitive, trading partners.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780712667845
ISBN-10: 0712667849
Format: Paperback
(215mm x 135mm x 28mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Pimlico
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Jan-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » This is a welcome revised edition of a set of thumbnail sketches, originally published in 1993, of the history of China, Japan and every country in south-east Asia. The author blends history and legend skilfully, showing how much national feeling reveres legend, while making clear what is truth and what is fancy. He displays the ancient strength and later weakness of China, and the rapacity of the European merchants who sought to exploit this weakness, as well as the incursions of the Americans into Japan and the Philippines, also motivated largely by the desire for profit. He discusses the successive incursions of Buddhism, Islam, the Mongols and Christianity, remarking for instance on the disappointment of American Protestant missionaries who went to the newly conquered Philippines, only to find that under Spanish pressure the inhabitants had long since become Roman Catholics. He notices the importance of the Japanese conquest of Malaya and Indonesia in 1941-2 as a spur towards national independence; and summarizes the military interventions - Japanese and other - on the Chinese mainland. He heads a new concluding chapter for this enlarged edition 'The Pacific Millennium: A Return to Chinese Leadership'. In it he discusses the banking crises of the 1990s, the excision of East Timor from Indonesia, the recurring difficulties between China and Taiwan, the importance of relations between China and the USA, and the emergence of China as the dominant power on the Pacific Rim. This is an invaluable handbook for anyone studying the area. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Arthur Cotterell

Arthur Cotterell was principal of Kingston College. His previous books include The Minoan World, The Penguin Encyclopaedia of Ancient Civilizations, The Pimlico Dictionary of Classical Mythologies: Greece, Rome, Persia, India and China, China: A Cultural History and Chariot: The Astounding Rise and Fall of the World's First War Machine.

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