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Old December 24th, 2012, 02:29 PM   #1

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Where to start studying Asian history


I am afraid that I must admit COMPLETE ignorance in Asian history. I was wondering if any more knowledgeable folks here could recommend a good place to start studying Asian, more specifically Chinese, Japanese, and Korean history.
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Old December 24th, 2012, 03:41 PM   #2

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As in good introductory books?

Charles Holcombe has written some broad introductory books. This is his most recent:

A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century: Amazon.co.uk: Charles Holcombe: Books
A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century: Amazon.co.uk: Charles Holcombe: Books

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Old December 24th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #3

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Good podcasts here:


BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, China's Warring States period

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China's Warring States period
AVAILABILITY:OVER A YEAR LEFT TO PLAY
Duration: 45 minutes
First broadcast: Thursday 01 April 2004
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the astonishing productivity of the Chinese Golden Age. 400 BC to 200 AD is known as the Axial Age, when great civilisations in Asia and the Mediterranean forged the ideas that dominated the next two thousand years. In China the equivalent to the Golden Age in Greece was the Warring States Period. It was a time of political turmoil, economic change and intellectual ferment that laid the foundations for the first Chinese Empire. Astronomy was systematised, the principles of Yin and Yang were invented, Confucianism grew and Taoism emerged, as a hundred schools of thought are reputed to have vied for the patronage of rival kings.

Why was a period of war such a fertile age for culture and thought, what kinds of ideas were developed and how do they still inform the thinking of nearly a fifth of the world’s population?

With Dr Chris Cullen, Director of the Needham Research Institute at Cambridge University; Dr Vivienne Lo, Lecturer at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine; Carol Michaelson, Assistant Keeper of Chinese Art in the Department of Oriental Antiquities at the British Museum
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/...0401-0900a.mp3
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Also this:

Quote:
The Taiping Rebellion
Thu, 24 Feb 11
Duration:
42 mins
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Taiping Rebellion, the momentous 19th century Chinese revolt led by a disillusioned young man who imagined himself the brother of Jesus Christ, come to save his Chinese brothers and sisters from the clutches of the Imperial Qing dynasty. Almost fourteen years later with over twenty million people dead, the Taiping Rebellion was quashed. But what did the rebels truly believe in and what did it achieve? Melvyn is joined by Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford; Frances Wood, Head of the Chinese Section at the British Library; and Julia Lovell, Lecturer in Chinese History at Birkbeck, University of London.
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/...0224-0740b.mp3


Quote:
The Great Wall of China
Thu, 29 Apr 10
Duration:
42 mins
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss The Great Wall of China. With Rana Mitter, Frances Wood and Julia Lovell.
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/...0429-0900a.mp3


Quote:
The Opium Wars
Thu, 12 Apr 07
Duration:
42 mins
Melvyn Bragg discusses the 19th century Opium Wars between Britain and China. With Yangwen Zheng, Xun Zhou and Lars Laamann.
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/...0412-0900a.mp3



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The Needham Question
Thu, 19 Oct 06
Duration:
43 mins
Melvyn Bragg examines the Needham Question; why Europe, not China made modern technology. With Chris Cullen, Tim Barrett and Frances Wood
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/...1019-0900a.mp3
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Old December 27th, 2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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I recently finished Korea: The Impossible Country by Daniel Tudor which is a very good overview and introduction that might whet one's appetite for more scholarly works. I received as a Christmas gift Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750 by Odd Arne Westad which looks really interesting.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #5

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Originally Posted by Young hickory View Post
I received as a Christmas gift Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750 by Odd Arne Westad which looks really interesting.
Well, I'm looking for books that go way, way, way farther back.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 10:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Apachewarlord View Post
Well, I'm looking for books that go way, way, way farther back.
Like the Shang Dynasty?
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Old December 27th, 2012, 11:05 AM   #7

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Originally Posted by Gorge123 View Post
Like the Shang Dynasty?
What is the Shang Dynasty.

Like I said earlier, I know nothing about asian history.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 11:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apachewarlord View Post
What is the Shang Dynasty.

Like I said earlier, I know nothing about asian history.
Would you like any kind of book??


Lots of chinese history books I have are written in chinese... I dont think you can read them.. hm...
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Old January 12th, 2013, 03:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apachewarlord View Post
I am afraid that I must admit COMPLETE ignorance in Asian history. I was wondering if any more knowledgeable folks here could recommend a good place to start studying Asian, more specifically Chinese, Japanese, and Korean history.
You start with China. East Asian History begins from the yellow river and the yangtze river.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 04:29 AM   #10

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Originally Posted by Kid NOVA View Post
You start with China. East Asian History begins from the yellow river and the yangtze river.
Thank you! Is there any specific book you could recommend?
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