Education About Asia

Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West

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Lost Colony

The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West

BY TONIO ANDRADE

PRINCETON: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011

456 PAGES, ISBN: 978-0691144559, HARDBACK


In Lost Colony, Tonio Andrade offers a highly readable account of the Sino-Dutch War of 1661–62 that resulted in the loss of the Dutch colony on Taiwan, which will be of great use for educators, their students, and general readers. Andrade treats the war as a case study to test competing explanations for the “rise of the West” to dominance in Asia, one of the largest and most controversial questions in world history literature. Andrade lays out the contending positions on this question between “revisionists,” who argue that the difference in technological, political, economic, and social development between the West and Asians was minimal before the Industrial Revolution; and the traditional explanation and its “counter-revisionist” defenders who hold that the rise of the West is attributable to the long historical development of unique and superior aspects of Western civilization. Andrade also tests a more specific explanation, the “military revolution theory” which holds that Westerners, even if not bearers of a superior civilization, enjoyed an advantage in military technology, organization, and discipline over other peoples.