Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Book Review Essay, Resources

Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

By Graham Allison Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017 384 pages, ISBN: 978-0544935273, Hardcover Reviewed by John F. Copper Most readers will likely find Graham Allison’s newest book, Destined for War, interesting and fresh. Many will agree with this reviewer that it is a work that may entitle Allison to join the ranks of Francis Fukuyama (The End of History) and Samuel Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations), who offer powerful templates, if not plausible theories, to help explain c...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

In Search of a Universal Language: Past, Present, and Future

Ever since the Tower of Babel, humans have pursued developing a universal language to use to communicate with more—ideally all— people. However, they have been only marginally successful, as indicated by both the history of a large number of failed efforts and the current situation. Also, these efforts have their detractors. A language becomes larger when it weakens or replaces another language. This often involves “language genocide” and/or represents “language imperialism.” Atta...

Essay, Resources

Advice to Students Choosing a Foreign Language: Go Asian

Editor's Note: The following essay, written by a China specialist who is quite in- terested in promoting the study of other languages, is meant to cause both you and your students to think reflectively about the relative importance of various languages. How and why would you or your students rearrange these rankings? Having been a college professor for more than three decades, I have come to expect that one or two students will ask—almost weekly—what language he or she should study in coll...

Book Review, Columns

China Witness: Voices from a Silent Generation

There is no shortage of history about China. In fact, there are more publications written about China than all other countries in the world combined prior to about a hundred and fifty years ago. However, books written about China’s past are almost exclusively about past dynasties and interpretations of them by present rulers. More recent historians, and even Western scholars, write about war, politics, economics—they seldom talk to ordinary people or look at history from their perspective....

Essay, Resources

Choosing a Foreign Language for the Future: Or, the Need for American Students to Study an Asian Language in College

Thirty years of employment as a college professor have led me to anticipate weekly that one or two students will ask me what language is best to study in college and why. The essence of this question is: What language will be most important in my future? Since studying a foreign language requires a considerable commitment in terms of time and energy and may even become a lifetime endeavor, this matter deserves careful consideration. Learning a language spoken by a large and/or an increasin...