Empires at War

Empires at War : A Short History of Modern Asia Since World War II

4.05 (35 ratings by Goodreads)
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Asia - with four billion people, almost two-thirds of the world's population, a huge landmass and the fastest-growing economies - has in the past decade transformed the geopolitical global balance. "Empires at War" gives a dramatic narrative account of how this 'Modern Asia' came into being. Taking the bombing of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945 as its starting point, Francis Pike chronicles the modern fortunes of fourteen Asian countries. The iconic figures of post-World War II Asia - Mao, Gandhi, Nehru, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung, General MacArthur and Lord Mountbatten - figure prominently but so also do a great many lesser-known but pivotal figures. Francis Pike weaves the dramatic events and episodes of the region - the great battles between American and Soviet-backed forces in Korea and Vietnam but also episodes such as Indian 'Partition', Japan's 'Lost Decade', Indonesia's 'Year of Living Dangerously' and Cambodia's 'Killing Fields' - into a coherent whole, which forms the essential guide to the history of modern Asia.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 896 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 55.88mm | 1,030g
  • New York, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1848858655
  • 9781848858657
  • 196,239

Table of contents

A Reader's Guide
Introduction and Background


1. AMERICA: 1621-1945: American Empire and Its Competitors
The Rise of European Nations and Migration to America; The Land Motive for Independence; American Continental Expansion - the first bite; American Setback in Canada; The Alamo and the Annexation of Florida and Texas; The Mexican War and the seizure of California and Oregon; Railroads and Territorial Consolidation; Genocide - The Destruction of the American Indian; Population, Gold and the Pioneer Spirit; Legends of the Conquest of the West; Hawaii, Cuba and the Philippines; Empire beyond the American Continent; Trade and the Expansion of America's Asian Interest; The Philippines - Conquest and Suppression; Theodore Roosevelt, the Panama Canal, and Economic Imperialism; The Growth of 'Moralism' in American politics and foreign policy; Emergence of America as 'the' global super power; American Isolationism after The First World War; The Russian Empire - A Competitor to United States Hegemony; Manchuria and the Rise of Japan; Isolationism Abandoned; A New Clash of Empires


2. Potsdam, Hiroshima and the Bomb: Japan 1945
3. Mao and the Chinese Revolution: China 1945 - 1954
4. Emperor Hirohito and the Tokyo War Crimes Trial: Japan 1945 -1948
5. Mahatma Gandhi: Passive Aggression: India 1945 -1947
6. 'An iron curtain has descended': America-Soviet Union 1945-1961
7. Stalin, Mao and Truman: Post-War Alliances: North East Asia1945 - 1950
8. Chiang Kai Shek and the Flight to Taiwan: Taiwan 1945 - 1949
9. MacArthur, Yoshida, and the American Occupation of Japan: Japan 1945-1954
10. Ho Chi Minh and the Battle of Dien Bien Phu Vietnam 1945-1954
11. General Phibun: National Socialist Dictator Thailand: 1945-1958
12. From Independence to Dependency Philippines: 1945-1960
13. Lord Mountbatten and the Partition India-Pakistan 1945-1947
14. Origins of the Korean War Korea: 1945-1950
15. Aung Sang: Revolutionary and Turncoat Burma:1945-1949
16. Sukarno: The Founding Father Indonesia: 1945-1950
17. Independence and the Racial Contract Malaysia: 1945-1957
18. Lee Kuan Yew: Pocket Giant Singapore: 1945-1964
19. Capitalist Redoubt Hong Kong: 1945-1997


20. The Korean War Korea: 1950-1953
21. The Great Leap Forward China: 1949-1961
22. Dictatorship and Prosperity Taiwan: 1947-1975
23. Nehru: The Fashioning of
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Review quote

"'A fantastic work of scholarship which ought to become the standard work. Francis Pike's knowledge, erudition, eye for the telling detail and sheer breadth of scope is truly astonishing.' - Andrew Roberts 'A stunning piece of work' - Norman Stone, formerly Professor of Modern History at Oxford University and author of Europe Transformed and The Eastern Front 'An absolute page-turner and deeply learned. Empires at War is the best and most comprehensive account of the history of Asia since World War II that I know. Francis Pike's narrative is gripping, original and entertaining.' - Dr. Simon May"
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About Francis Pike

Francis Pike studied history at Cambridge and is an historian and journalist. He lived and worked for 20 years in Japan, China and India as an economic and political strategist and in this capacity he advised numbers of financial institutions as well as governments.
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Rating details

35 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 34% (12)
4 46% (16)
3 14% (5)
2 3% (1)
1 3% (1)
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