Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Book Review Essay, Resources

Peeling The Onion Stories: “China in Family Photographs: A People’s History of Revolution and Everyday Life”

Asked to write a review of China in Family Photographs, I quickly got caught up in the task. Using stories from a series begun in 1996, Ed Krebs and Professor Hanchao Lu translate the tales based on the pictures that accompany the text. They also wrote an introduction to each piece, setting it in context. My reaction was positive, even enthusiastic. I’d call the approach of our two authors ”onion stories.” They are layered. One way is to take the subject of the story and peel back that per...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

After Thirty Years, You Still Can’t Drink the Water

I first went to China in 1986 as a member of a group of fifteen professors of world history from West Virginia. Under a grant from the US Department of Education, all had to agree to increase our coverage of China and to produce modules that would be circulated to our West Virginia colleagues in the hopes that they would also expand their treatment of China. Agree? This was one of the biggest no-brainers of my career. Over the next thirty years, I’ve been to China an additional thirteen times...

Book Review, Online Supplement, Resources

A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia

Aaron Friedberg’s A Contest for Supremacy is an addition to the spate of books of the past couple of decades which examine the competition between the United States and a People’s Republic of China that continues to grow economically as well as militarily. Unlike most of its predecessors, though, Friedberg’s analysis does not predict a totally dire outcome for both America and the world. Friedberg is a professor of politics and international law at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton Un...

Curriculum Materials Review, Resources

The Enduring Legacy of Ancient China

Editor’s Note: Although published several years ago, Primary Source’s The Enduring Legacy of Ancient China text and accompanying CD-ROM have received accolades from teacher users and remains in publication. Art Barbeau, a China specialist who has worked with teachers, and Richard Marsh, an experienced social studies teacher, contributed the review that follows. PRIMARY SOURCE, INC., EDITORS NEW YORK: CHENG ANDTSUI, 2006 298 PAGES, ISBN: 978-0887275081, PAPERBACK Reviewed by Arthur Barbea...

Book Review

“Socialism is Great!” A Worker’s Memoir of the New China

Those interested in teaching the China of the past fifty years have a plethora of good materials available to them. There is a wealth of information on the last ten years of Mao’s life, ranging from scholarly studies, accounts of travelers, to personal memoirs. These cover the Cultural Revolution, the rise and fall of the “Gang of Four,” and the deaths of both Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong. For the past two decades, there are a number of accounts of the student movement of 1989 and its tragic ...

Book Review, Columns

Hawai’i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture

Over several decades of teaching various courses, I’ve looked through literally hundreds of “readers.” I’ve even used a few. At the worst, some students may have looked at entries because they knew this material would be included on tests. At best, a few may actually have been exposed to some of the documents that are part of history.

Book Review, Resources

China’s Political System: Modernization and Tradition 5th edition

We are indeed fortunate that, with the appearance of the fifth edition of China’s Political System, June Dreyer brings her long-term examination forward to 2005. Her broad perspective on politics examines its connections with just about every aspect of Chinese culture from industrialization to the arts.

Book Review, Resources

China: Adapting the Past, Confronting the Future

In the Preface, China: Adapting the Past, Confronting the Future is described as the newest textbook on Modern China. To many readers, it may look more like a modified reader. There are six thematic sections, each introduced by a dis­tinguished scholar. It is these long introductions that support the claim to be a text.

Curriculum Materials Review, Resources

Contemporary Chinese Societies: Continuity and Change

The University of Pittsburgh has created a comprehensive program on contemporary China on a single CD. The disk is available from Columbia University Press at a price that is comparable to a textbook.

Book Review, Resources

Streetlife China

Michael Dutton’s Streetlife China is based on an interesting concept. With the market modernization of China and the shattering of many “iron rice bowls,” the number of people who are not dependent on the government for their livelihood has increased dramatically in the past two decades. In those years, independent shops, stalls and restaurants have blossomed. Chinese cities do have an exciting streetlife.

Film Review Essay, Resources

The Power of Place

The Power of Place is a twenty-six part series of videos examining World Regional Geography from a case study perspective. Included in the set is a Student Study Guide and a Faculty Guide. It is closely tied into the popular text by H. J. de Blij, Geography: Realms, Regions and Concepts. Of potential interest to Asianists, eight of the twenty-six episodes deal with that continent. As the scope of the series is to look at various geographic concepts through a case study approach, the treatment...

Essay, Resources

Teaching the Pacific War through Films

The present generation is a visual generation. Our students have not known a time without television and the VCR. Thus, the use of films is an ideal way to present the Pacific phase of World War II. Good films can be dramatic in demonstrating the reality of that war to present day students. Even bad films can be useful in other ways. Those dealing with the Pacific often contain the grossest stereotypes. Many of these films, though, can help a teacher deal with the production and presentation ...

Film Review Essay, Resources

The Burmese Harp

DIRECTED BY KON ISHIKAWA CONNOISSEUR VIDEO COLLECTION, INGRAM FILM INTERNATIONAL APPLAUSE PRODUCTIONS 1575 WESTWOOD BLVD., SUITE 305, LOS ANGELES, CA 90024 1956. 116 MINUTES BLACK AND WHITE In many classes, at various levels, it is necessary to deal with the role of Japan during World War II. America’s enemies in that war, Germany, Japan and Italy, are often portrayed in crucially different ways. In Europe, the Nazis misled the German people into a series of misadventures and cruelt...

Film Review Essay, Resources

The Story of Qiu Ju

DIRECTED BY ZHANG YIMOU CHINESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES DISTRIBUTED BY COLUMBI ATRISTAR HOMEVIDEO SONY PICTURES PLAZA 10202 WEST WASHINGTON BLVD. CULVER CITY, CA 90232 1991, 100 MINUTES, COLOR Reviewed by Arthur Barbeau In The Story of Qiu Ju, Zhang Yimou has created a film that is useful in giving students an excellent picture of life in China today. The film can be used with students at any level from middle school through college, though its length suggests caution with lower grade stu...