By Colin Mason
The peoples of Asia now make up greater than half the world's inhabitants. they're more and more well-educated, and winning in each zone of contemporary exchange and expertise. Their effect within the remainder of the area can also be changing into larger. Colin Mason offers a readable and transparent advent to their heritage and traditions, from prehistory correct as much as the current day. This completely revised, up to date and elevated re-creation comprises the immense adjustments and additions made helpful by way of the fast-changing scene in Asia, quite China's expanding prominence in global affairs. There are new chapters on Afghanistan and Taiwan, and on international battle and its value in Asia, in addition to vast transforming of the chapters at the international locations of South Asia. Maps and illustrations now additionally improve the textual content all through, making this the basic advisor to the historical past of a desirable continent and its peoples.
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Extra info for A Short History of Asia, Second Edition
Like China, north Vietnam was Confucian, with all the attendant mechanisms of tax systems, filial piety and respect for established rites. A glance at a map shows at once the geographic features which have several times resulted in Vietnam being divided into two, or even three, countries. The narrow coastal ‘waist’ bordering the mountains of Laos is as little as 40 miles wide, and separates two regions with marked historic, ethnic and cultural differences. The south, consisting substantially of the plains and great delta of the Mekong River, was part of the empire of Angkor.
This area of dense tropical jungle, steamy heat, and dangerous wildlife such as tigers and giant snakes, had little appeal to the predatory invaders from the hills. However, independent societies were evolving in the south. Two of these were located on the island of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Basic to an understanding of Sri Lanka is the fact that two separate migrations from the mainland occurred: the first of people who called themselves the Sinhalese – People of the Lion – in the sixth century BCE; and a second, smaller one, of Indian Tamils, from about 300 years later.
Even within the small but growing educated middle class, caste still strongly influences basic matters such as marriage alliances. Implementing national policies, especially on a matter so fundamental as caste, is all the more difficult because of an effective regionalism resulting from India’s multiplicity of languages and dialects. The print media, radio and television generally operate in their own area, rather than as national networks. Political forces have the same constraints, thus perpetuating the strong regional influences already defined by history and tradition.
A Short History of Asia, Second Edition by Colin Mason