Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Book Review Essay, Resources

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World

By Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwill, and Ali Wyne Foreword by Henry A. Kissinger Cambridge: MIT Press, 2013 224 pages, ISBN: 978-0262019125, Hardcover Reviewed by David Kenley Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World, by Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwill, and Ali Wyne, provides a fascinating introduction to the thoughts and attitudes of one of the twentieth century’s most complex political leaders. Lee was the first prime minister of inde...

Book Review, Resources

Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography, Volume 4

Reviewed by David L. Kenley With the publication of volume 4, Berkshire is nearing completion of the Dictionary of Chinese Biography.  While the editors and writers will continue to add to and amend the online supplement, this is the final volume of the dictionary’s printed version. Volume 4 includes figures who have influenced Chinese history since 1979. As with the previous three volumes, this one exemplifies high standards of research, writing, and editing. It is a welcome addition to an...

Online Supplement

Understanding and Teaching Migration in China

Migration in China In 2012, the Chinese Ministry of Railways created a new online ticketing system. Promising an end to long lines and frustrated customers, the program was intended to streamline operations and demonstrate China’s growing sophistication in the transportation industry. However, it was not prepared to handle the immense amount of traffic during New Year. On one day alone, the server took 1.4 billion hits. As a result, potential customers overwhelmed the online system, causing...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Modern Chinese History

In addition to being the most populous country, China is projected to surpass the United States in gross domestic product within a few years. It has a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and wields tremendous “soft power” throughout the world. For these and other reasons, Americans are fascinated with China. Yet this fascination remains tempered by fear and ignorance. Modern Chinese History is not designed specifically to alter American attitudes toward China, but it does p...

Film Review Essay, Resources

The Revolutionary

PRODUCED BY IRV DRASNIN, STOURWATER PICTURES BY IRV DRASNIN, LUCY OSTRANDER, AND DON SELLERS 92 MINUTES, COLOR, 2011 Reviewed by David L. Kenley [caption id="attachment_9993" align="alignnone" width="717"] Interview scene with Sidney Rittenberg . Screen capture from the trailer for The Revolutionary at[/caption] [caption id="attachment_9994" align="alignleft" width="203"] Sidney Rittenberg became a celebrity during the Cultural Revolution. Here he exhorts a large cr...

Book Review, Resources

Sun Yatsen: Seeking a Newer China

BY DAVID B. GORDON NEW YORK: PRENTICE HALL, 2010 192 PAGES ISBN: 978-0321333063, PAPERBACK Reviewed by David Kenley This eminently readable biography of Sun Yatsen offers high school and undergraduate students a window into the life of the “father of modern China.” Though Sun is frequently overshadowed by his more politically savvy successors, Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, he is an excellent choice for the Library of World Biography series. More so than either Chiang or Mao, Sun epito...

Book Review, Columns

China: A History

HACKETT PUBLISHING COMPANY, 2009 610 PAGES ISBN 978-0872209152, PAPERBACK Reviewed by David Kenley Since the conclusion of the Beijing Olympics, China has been in the international spotlight, and many students across the US now seem to be clamoring for access to Chinese language and history courses. Seeking to capitalize on this excitement, Harold M. Tanner has published a new, cogently written textbook entitled quite simply, China: A History. Encompassing the full breadt...

Feature Article

History and Memory: The Role of War Memorials in China and Japan

The study of public memory has become increasingly popular in the past several years. Nowhere has public memory had more influence on popular culture, international affairs, and economic development than in East Asia. In particular, “memories” of World War II have cast a long shadow on twentieth (and twenty-first-century) Asia. By analyzing the role of World War II memorials, teachers and students are able to gain a better understanding of the impact of public memory on contemporary East Asi...

Columns, Resources

They Chose China

WHY WOULD AN AMERICAN PRISONER OF WAR (POW) CHOOSE TO SWITCH SIDES IN WARTIME? What factors would explain such a decision? In his recently released film, director Shuibo Wang attempts to answer these and many other questions. In his thought-provoking documentary, They Chose China, Wang forces the film’s viewers to take a long, hard look at their own biases and assumptions regarding the Cold War, American society, and the United Nations’ “police action” in Korea. The film highlights the a...

Book Review, Resources

Broadening the Horizons of Chinese History: Discourses, Syntheses, and Comparisons

By Ray Huang NEW YORK: M. E. SHARPE, 1999 PAPERBACK: 274 PAGES. ISBN: 0-7656-0348-9 Reviewed by David L. Kenley In Broadening the Horizons of Chinese History, Ray Huang investigates events in China from a long-term perspective. The work is actually a compilation of several previously-presented essays. In many ways, the text reads more like an intimate lecture than a jargon-filled monograph. Inserting several interesting details about his own life, Huang writes as if he is seeking to persuade...