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History of Asia, A (5th Edition) 5th Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321340542
ISBN-10: 032134054X
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Comment: Shrink wrapped glossy Paperback book. Seemingly unread book, inside is clean with no writing or highlighting, pages clean, spine tight. This book is almost new condition. Easy Peel Amazon seller barcode sticker over book ISBN. Ships to Domestic and International and Ships direct from Amazon! Qualifies for Prime Shipping.
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rhoads Murphey was Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Michigan. Professor Murphey completed his doctorate in Far Eastern History and Geography (joint degree) at Harvard University in 1950 and joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1964. He specialized in modern Chinese history, the history of agriculture in Asia, modern Indian history, and geography.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 5 edition (August 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 032134054X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321340542
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this textbook in a junior-level undergraduate course on the history of Asia. Rhoads Murphey's text certainly has a tall task in covering 4,000 years of history in severally culturally distinct regions in Asia, but I thought he succeeded.

Another reviewer has pointed out that Murphey does a very good job of focusing on themes and meaningful interpretation of historical trends. I agree, and would further point out that this interpretation is not overdone -- the author doesn't resort to distilling complicated histories into linear progressions or other simplistic constructions.

At times, I was a bit frustrated with the book's organization (chapters cover one or two civilizations, e.g. Japan and Korea, in a general time period), because it was sometimes difficult to pin down a basic chronology of a particular region/culture, but this frustration may have been a result of the format of the course for which I was reading this book. And in fairness, the book does provide convenient charts towards the beginning of each chapter listing major events and their dates.

Finally, one of the more widely-read reviews on this page criticized Prof. Murphey's treatment of Islam. When the topic came up, it seemed to me that Islam's historical and cultural influence was treated in an accurate, honest, and fair way.
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By A Customer on April 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm using this textbook for an asian studies class I'm taking. I find this book to be very well organized and informative and interesting. As a matter of fact, I've already finished the book even though only one quarter of the term has passed. The only problem I have with this book is that the author comments on the history a little too much instead of allowing the readers to make their own judgment. For example, he makes an outrageous suggestion that South Koreans would have been better off if the Korean War had not been fought after North Korea invaded. In addition, the author doesn't often present a balanced view on Asian history. He forcefully condemns western colonialism (fair enough), but then never criticizes, for example, China for being imperialistic towards its neighbors. He often criticizes westerners for being "arrogant," but rarely criticizes Chinese for being arrogant, and they did have a very arrogant attitude towards "outsiders" throughout their history, including all their Asian neighbors. He says, "It should be remembered, however, that Korea has the same geographic size and population, with a far older, more sophisticated culture. . . " Really? Older and more sophisticated than Greece, Italy, France, etc.? What is he basing his information on? "Equally old and sophisticated culture. . ." would be a much more accurate assessment. Still, this book is interesting and I recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Let's not forget this fact: this is a college textbook. If you're looking for something that will be interesting reading or will keep you entertained when the television is off, you don't want this book. You will be overwhelmed by rafts of facts and will not be able to digest it all. Find another book.
That said, this book is very good if you're interested in a thorough, exhaustive history of Asia. Murphey focusses on themes and meaning rather than lists of names and dates. Memorisation and quotation of established facts are not the order of the day. Probably an ideal introductory history of Monsoon Asia, this book makes a good gateway to further in-depth study of the area.
That said, it's not a perfect book. Some broad claims are made about the region, such as the claim that Asian societies are older and possess greater sophistication. This is inaccurate -- after all, Egyptian civilization is two thousand years older, and the Fertile Crescent civilization is one thousand years older, than the civilizations of China and the Indus River valley. True, China was at one time the most powerful and sophisticated on Earth, but it is no longer, because it placed greater value on social stability than on development and growth. These claims are surely brash and possibly offensive to those who have struggled to make other civilizations advance beyond a crude level.
Barring that sort of thing, however, this book is a good scholastic introduction to the history of Monsoon Asia. It will bore casual readers, keep that in mind. However, if you are interested in an in-depth study of the themes that continue to color Asia, this is your book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this edition for a class, thinking that it would be good enough. Unfortunately it wasn't, and I had to return this book for the newer one. The newer (6th) edition has many changes and a lot of added content. So if you want to get a much better picture, spend the money for the 6th edition.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It really bothers me that all the photos have inverted colors. I'm assuming that this is a way to protect the image from people taking screenshots or something, but it's very distracting and I often can't even figure out what the pictures are. What's the point of taking photos of these things and putting them in the book if they can't be viewed? I am very disappointed that I purchased the digital version of this book as part of my ASIA 100 course.
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