Book cover of The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East by Nicholas Morton
Asia

The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East

How the Mongol invasions of the Near East reshaped the balance of world power in the Middle Ages 
 
For centuries, the Crusades have been central to the story of the medieval Near East, but these religious wars are only part of the region’s complex history. As The Mongol Storm reveals, during the same era the Near East was utterly remade by another series of wars: the Mongol invasions.   […Learn More]

Book cover of The Perils of Interpreting: The Extraordinary Lives of Two Translators between Qing China and the British Empire by Henrietta Harrison
Asia

The Perils of Interpreting: The Extraordinary Lives of Two Translators between Qing China and the British Empire 

An impressive new history of China’s relations with the West—told through the lives of two language interpreters who participated in the famed Macartney embassy in 1793

The 1793 British embassy to China, which led to Lord George Macartney’s fraught encounter with the Qianlong emperor, has often been viewed as a clash of cultures fueled by the East’s disinterest in the West. […Learn More]

Book cover of Kingdom of Characters: The Language Revolution That Made China Modern by Jing Tsu
Asia

Kingdom of Characters: The Language Revolution That Made China Modern

After a meteoric rise, China today is one of the world’s most powerful nations. Just a century ago, it was a crumbling empire with literacy reserved for the elite few, as the world underwent a massive technological transformation that threatened to leave them behind. In Kingdom of Characters, Jing Tsu argues that China’s most daunting challenge was a linguistic one: the century-long fight to make the formidable Chinese language accessible to the modern world of global trade and digital technology. […Learn More]

Before the West: The Rise and Fall of Eastern World Orders by Ayse Zarakol
Asia

Before the West: The Rise and Fall of Eastern World Orders

How would the history of international relations in ‘the East’ be written if we did not always read the ending – the Rise of the West and the decline of the East – into the past? What if we did not assume that Asia was just a residual category, a variant of ‘not-Europe’, but saw it as a space of with its own particular history and sociopolitical dynamics, not defined only by encounters with European colonialism? […Learn More]

Book cover of Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today's China by Desmond Shum
Asia

Red Roulette: An Insider’s Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today’s China

As Desmond Shum was growing up impoverished in China, he vowed his life would be different. Through hard work and sheer tenacity he earned an American college degree and returned to his native country to establish himself in business. There, he met his future wife, the highly intelligent and equally ambitious Whitney Duan who was determined to make her mark within China’s male-dominated society. Whitney and Desmond formed an effective team and, aided by relationships they formed with top members of China’s Communist Party, the so-called red aristocracy, he vaulted into China’s billionaire class. […Learn More]

Book cover of On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle by Hampton Sides
Asia

On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War’s Greatest Battle

From the New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice, a chronicle of the extraordinary feats of heroism by Marines called on to do the impossible during the greatest battle of the Korean War

On October 15, 1950, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of UN troops in Korea, convinced President Harry Truman that the Communist forces of Kim Il-sung would be utterly defeated by Thanksgiving. The Chinese, he said with near certainty, would not intervene in the war. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Chinese Typewriter: A History by Thomas Mullaney
Asia

The Chinese Typewriter: A History

How Chinese characters triumphed over the QWERTY keyboard and laid the foundation for China’s information technology successes today.

Chinese writing is character based, the one major world script that is neither alphabetic nor syllabic. Through the years, the Chinese written language encountered presumed alphabetic universalism in the form of Morse Code, Braille, stenography, Linotype, punch cards, word processing, and other systems developed with the Latin alphabet in mind. […Learn More]

Book cover of Land of Strangers: The Civilizing Project in Qing Central Asia by Eric Schluessel
Asia

Land of Strangers: The Civilizing Project in Qing Central Asia

At the close of the nineteenth century, near the end of the Qing empire, Confucian revivalists from central China gained control of the Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang, or East Turkestan. There they undertook a program to transform Turkic-speaking Muslims into Chinese-speaking Confucians, seeking to bind this population and their homeland to the Chinese cultural and political realm. Instead of assimilation, divisions between communities only deepened, resulting in a profound estrangement that continues to this day. […Learn More]

Book cover of China Unbound: A New World Disorder by Joanna Chiu
Asia

China Unbound: A New World Disorder

While the United States stumbles, an award-winning foreign correspondent chronicles China’s dramatic moves to become a dominant power.

As the world’s second-largest economy, China is extending its influence across the globe with the complicity of democratic nations. Joanna Chiu has spent a decade tracking China’s propulsive rise, from the political aspects of the multi-billion-dollar “New Silk Road” global investment project to a growing sway on foreign countries and multilateral institutions through “United Front” efforts. […Learn More]

Book cover of Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World by Lesley M.M. Blume
Asia

Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World

New York Times bestselling author Lesley M.M. Blume reveals how one courageous American reporter uncovered one of the deadliest cover-ups of the 20th century—the true effects of the atom bomb—potentially saving millions of lives.

Just days after the United States decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs, the Japanese surrendered unconditionally. But even before the surrender, the US government and military had begun a secret propaganda and information suppression campaign to hide the devastating nature of these experimental weapons. […Learn More]