The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History • Tonio Andrade

By |January 15th, 2018|

Tonio Andrade is one of the best historians currently writing about East Asia, and The Gunpowder Age (2016) is the best of his three excellent books. It expands on the Lost Colony’s comparison of European and Chinese military might during the 1660s, when Koxinga’s remnant Ming forces laid siege to the Dutch […]

Looking Through Taiwan: American Anthropologists’ Collusion With Ethnic Domination • Keelung Hong and Stephen O. Murray

By |January 13th, 2018|

Communist victory in 1949 sealed China off from Western journalists, missionaries, Sinologists, tourists, and pretty much everyone except for the occasional leftist sympathizer. For some anthropologists, however, Taiwan provided an excellent substitute destination. Looking Through Taiwan (2005) examines how this displaced anthropological research often involved willing complicity with the authoritarian […]

City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong • Antony Dapiran

By |November 29th, 2017|

Even for those of us familiar with Hong Kong, the Umbrella Movement of 2014, which saw supposedly apathetic Hong Kongers occupying the heart of the city with mass sit-in protests, came as a big surprise. It shouldn’t have. Antony Dapiran’s City of Protest: A recent history of dissent in Hong […]

Playing in Isolation: A History of Baseball in Taiwan • Junwei Yu

By |October 28th, 2017|

In one of the great sporting runs of all time, from 1971 to 1981 Taiwan’s Little Leaguers went unbeaten at the annual Little League Baseball championship in the American town of Williamsport, scoring an incredible thirty-one straight victories. A whole generation of Taiwanese grew up rooting for these twelve-year-old schoolboys. […]

Colonial Project, National Game: A History of Baseball in Taiwan • Andrew D. Morris

By |October 27th, 2017|

Although baseball is considered Taiwan’s national sport, finding physical evidence of its popularity on the ground is surprisingly hard. Go to a park on the weekend and basketball is what you see kids playing. Baseball is, however, Taiwan’s most popular spectator sport, and the only one with a professional league […]

Author Interview: Donald N. Clark

By |October 27th, 2017|

Donald N. Clark, a leading figure in Korean Studies, is that rare breed of academic able to write broadly, write well, and for the general public. His books include Christianity in Modern Korea, Korea in World History, and Living Dangerously in Korea: The Western Experience 1900-1950. Although recently retired from teaching at Trinity University […]

The Green Phoenix • Alice Poon

By |October 4th, 2017|

Taking us from the Mongolian steppes to China’s imperial court, The Green Phoenix is an epic historical novel chronicling the life of a remarkable woman who shaped the founding decades of the Qing dynasty. In 1625 twelve-year-old Mongol Princess Bumbutai becomes a consort of Hong Taiji, soon to be the […]

A Taipei Mutt • Eric Mader

By |October 3rd, 2017|

I started the book with the question “What the hell is this?” and finished it with the question “What the hell have I just read?” To describe Eric Mader’s engrossing, fearless novel as extremely unusual doesn’t come close. A Taipei Mutt is a difficult book to make sense of, to […]

Dateline Mongolia: An American Journalist in Nomad’s Land • Michael Kohn

By |October 2nd, 2017|

“I hated Mongolia!” a seasoned traveller and fellow long-time resident of Taiwan once admitted to me. A person not liking a particular country might seem unremarkable, but this was veteran Lonely Planet guidebook writer Robert Storey, the author of the first ever LP Mongolia guide. His controversial 1993 book was […]

Katsuren: An Okinawan love story • Celine Nisaragi

By |October 2nd, 2017|

In this charming low-key romance between a young American woman archaeologist and a Japanese journalist, the Okinawan settings come to life as characters in their own right. There are the ruins of Katsuren Castle, giving the novel its title, and the remote island of Yonaguni, especially fascinating to a Taiwan […]