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East Asia at the Center : Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World

East Asia at the Center : Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World - 00 edition

East Asia at the Center : Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World - 00 edition

ISBN13: 9780231101097

ISBN10: 0231101090

East Asia at the Center : Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World by Warren I. Cohen - ISBN 9780231101097
Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 00
Copyright: 2000
Publisher: Columbia University Press
International: No
East Asia at the Center : Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World by Warren I. Cohen - ISBN 9780231101097

ISBN13: 9780231101097

ISBN10: 0231101090

Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 00

List price: $29.95

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A common misconception holds that Marco Polo "opened up" a closed and recalcitrant "Orient" to the West. However, this sweeping history covering 4,000 years of international relations from the perspective of China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia shows that the region´s extensive involvement in world affairs began thousands of years ago.

In a time when the writing of history is increasingly specialized, Warren I. Cohen has made a bold move against the grain. In broad but revealing brushstrokes, he paints a huge canvas of East Asia´s place in world affairs throughout four millennia. Just as Cohen thinks broadly across time, so too, he defines the boundaries of East Asia liberally, looking beyond China, Japan, and Korea to include Southeast Asia. In addition, Cohen stretches the scope of international relations beyond its usual limitations to consider the vital role of cultural and economic exchanges.

Within this vast framework, Cohen explores the system of Chinese domination in the ancient world, the exchanges between East Asia and the Islamic world from the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries, and the emergence of a European-defined international system in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The book covers the new imperialism of the 1890s, the Manchurian crisis of the early 1930s, the ascendancy of Japan, the trials of World War II, the drama of the Cold War, and the fleeting "Asian Century" from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s.

East Asia at the Center is replete with often-overlooked or little-known facts, such as:

  • A record of persistent Chinese imperialism in the region
  • Tibet´s status as a major power from the 7th to the 9th centuries C.E., when it frequently invaded China and decimated Chinese armies
  • Japan´s profound dependence on Korea for its early cultural development
  • The enormous influence of Indian cuisine on that of China
  • Egyptian and Ottoman military aid to their Muslim brethren in India and Sumatra against European powers
  • Extensive Chinese sea voyages to Arabia and East Africa -long before such famous Westerners as Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus took to the seas

East Asia at the Center´s expansive historical view puts the trials and advances of the past four millennia into perspective, showing that East Asia has often been preeminent on the world stage -and conjecturing that it might be so again in the not-so-distant future.

Author Bio

Cohen, Warren I. : University of Maryland Baltimore County

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. His publications include The Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations: America in the Age of Soviet Power, 1945-1991, East Asian Art in American Culture (Columbia), and America´s Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations (Columbia).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


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
Southeast Asia

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
Southeast Asia in Turmoil

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

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

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

7. The Great Qing Empire

Rebuilding of the "Chinese" empire
Japan and Korea
Southeast Asia in flux
Approach of the British empire

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

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

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

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

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

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

Closing Thoughts
Further Reading