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September 20, 2015
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Book topics: Asia, Afghanistan, Anatolia, Armenia, Bangladesh, Babylonia, Bactria, Balochistan, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Byzantium, Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran/Persia, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Ladakh, Laos, Malaysia, Manipur, Mongolia, Nepal, Ottomans, Philippines, Sabah, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Thailand/Siam, Tibet, Turkey, Vietnam, Oceania
Monarchy in South-East Asia: The Faces of Tradition in Transition by Roger Kershaw. The history and contemporary role of South East Asian monarchy, including Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and Laos.
Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia From the Bronze Age to the Present by Christopher I. Beckwith. Describes the rise and fall of the great Central Eurasian empires, including those of the Scythians, Attila the Hun, the Turks and Tibetans, and Genghis Khan and the Mongols.
Kings Into Gods: How Prostration Shaped Eurasian Civilizations by Vittorio Cotesta. Analyzes the connection between rituality and royalty among the ancient Greeks and Romans, Mongolians in the Middle Ages, the Hindu and Chinese, 14th century India, the Mughals, and Europeans in the late Middle Ages.
Patrons, Clients, and Empire: Chieftaincy and Over-Rule in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific by Colin Newbury. Comparative study of relationships between the indigenous leaders and colonizing Europeans from the 17th to the 20th century.
Asia: A Concise History by Arthur Cotterell. Beginning in 3000 BC, this book examines the great events and people of Asian history. Over 100 illustrations, maps, and photos.
A History of Asia by Rhoads Murphey. The only book to cover the area known as "Monsoon Asia" -- India, China, Southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan -- from earliest of times to present.
A History of East Asia by Charles Holcombe. From the origins of civilization to the 21st century.
The Great Game
The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia by Peter Hopkirk. About the 19th century competition between Great Britain and Russia for power in Asia. The narrative moves at breakneck pace, yet even as as the author paints his colorful characters -- tribal chieftains, generals, spies, Queen Victoria -- he provides a clear overview. (Review © Amazon.com)
Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia by Karl Ernest Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac. Updates and significantly expands earlier studies of imperial rivalry in the region. (Review © Amazon.com)
Classical Anatolia: The Glory of Hellenism by Harry Brewster is about the history and development of civilization and building in Anatolia. Includes photos of archaeological remains.
Wealth, Aristocracy and Royal Propaganda Under the Hellenistic Kingdom of the Mithradatids in the Central Black Sea Region in Turkey by Deniz Burcu Erciyas. In spite of the notorious reign of Mithradates VI (120-63 BC), the history of the Black Sea region is uncharted territory. This book examines regional unification under Mithradates and his political influence on neighboring lands.
The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy by Adrienne Mayor. Biography of King Mithridates VI of Pontus (located in what is now Turkey). His uncanny ability to surge back after devastating losses unnerved the Romans, while his mastery of poisons allowed him to foil assassination attempts and eliminate rivals.
The Last King: Rome's Greatest Enemy by Michael Curtis Ford. Fictional account of the life of ferocious and brilliant King Mithridates Eupator VI of Pontus, known to history as Mithridates the Great.
King Midas: The Golden Touch by Demi. A picture for children ages 4 to 8. The real King Midas was the ruler of Phrygia, located in Anatolia (in modern-day Turkey).
Letters of the Great Kings of the Ancient Near East: The Royal Correspondence of the Late Bronze Age by Trevor Bryce. From the 17th to the 12th centuries BC, the five Great Kings of Egypt, Babylon, Hatti (the kingdom of the Hittites), Mitanni, and Assyria ruled over vast territories. Many of their letters survive, offering fascinating insights into ancient near Eastern kingdoms.
The Epic Histories: Attributed to P'Awstos Buzand edited by Nina G. Garsoian. Fourth-century account of Armenian history, written by a supporter of the Mamikonian ruling family.
The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods edited by Richard G. Hovannisian. Armenian history from antiquity to the 14th century AD.
The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume II: Foreign Dominion to Statehood edited by by Richard G. Hovannisian. Covers the 15th century through the 20th century.
Between Islam and Byzantium: Aght'amar and the Visual Construction of Medieval Armenian Rulership by Lynn Jones. Analysis of visual expression of medieval Armenian rulership from 884-1045 CE. During this era, Armenian rulers loosened ties to the Arab caliphate, but by the end the Byzantine empire dominated the region.
Armenia: A Historical Atlas by Robert H. Hewsen. Traces Armenia's rich past from ancient times to the present day through more than 200 full-color maps packed with information about physical geography, demography, and sociopolitical, religious, cultural, and linguistic history.
The Kingdom of Armenia: A History by Mark Chahin. Covers the history of Armenia from ancient times to the end of the Middle Ages.
A History of Bangladesh by Willem van Schendel. Bngladesh did not exist as an independent state until 1971. This history navigates the twists and turns that created modern Bangladesh through ecological disaster, colonialism, partition and a war of independence.
The King in Exile: The Fall of the Royal Family of Burma by Sudha Shah. During their reign, King Thibaw and Queen Supayalat of Burma were treated as demigods. After a war against Britain in 1885, their kingdom was lost and the family exiled to India. Includes photos.
The Moon Princess: Memories of the Shan States by Sao Sanda. Memoir of the eldest daughter of Sao Shwe Thaik, the Prince of Yawnghwe, who became president of the Union of Burma. Includes tables of the ruling princes and family trees.
Twilight Over Burma: My Life As a Shan Princess by Inge Sargent and Bertil Lintner. Inge, an Austrian, was surprised to learn that her new husband was a Burmese prince. This book tells the story of their happy marriage and life in Burma until the prince disappeared during a coup in 1962.
The Return of the Galon King: History, Law, and Rebellion in Colonial Burma by Maitrii Aung-Thwin. In Burma in 1930, a peasant leader named Saya San crowned himself king. Considered an imposter by the British and a hero by nationalists, he came to embody Southeast Asia's encounter with colonialism.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar) by Donald M. Seekins. Maps, a chronology, a bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries tell the history of Burma.
Lord of the Celestial Elephant by Elaine Halton. An account of the life of the last crown prince of Burma, Prince Mowng Lat, whose arrest and 67 years as a political detainee by the British was never acknowledged. The author is Prince Mowng Lat's granddaughter.
The Glass Palace: A Novel by Amitav Ghosh. Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this is the story of a poor boy who befriends a young woman in the court of the Burmese queen.
Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia by Donald Rayfield. Beginning with the first Georgians in ancient Anatolia, this book describes Georgia's conflicts with Greeks, Arabs, invading Turks, the Crusades, Genghis Khan, the Persian Empire, the Russian Empire, and Soviet totalitarianism.
Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry by Peter Nasmyth. Cultural and historical introduction to modern Georgia. Illustrated with over 170 photographs.
Georgia Travel Guide by Tim Burford. Reveals the country's hidden cultural treasures, and offers practical details on varied activities such as countryside caving and visiting ancient pagan ruins.
The Abkhazians: A Handbook edited by George Hewitt. History of the Abkhazians, an ancient Caucasian people living mainly on the eastern shores of the Black Sea.
Kazakhstan: Coming of Age edited by Michael Furgus and Janar Jandosova. Covers the country's place in the world, bridging West and East: its spectacular landscape, its people and their patterns of life, its turbulent history and contemporary society.
Welcome to Kazakhstan edited by Alan Tay. Nonfiction for children of all ages.
The Kingdoms of Laos: Six Hundred Years of History by Peter Simms and Sandra Simms. A general history of the changes in society over 600 years as Lan Xang was gradually dismembered and became a French colony.
The Last Century of Lao Royalty: A Documentary History by Grant Evans. Short essays, excerpts from newspapers and letters, and rare photographs bring to life the role of royalty in the modern story of Laos.
A History of Laos by Martin Stuart-Fox. Focuses on the period from the founding of modern Laos as a French colony to its independence.
Historical Dictionary of Laos by Martin Stuart-Fox. Looks at the early history of Laos and provides a broad survey of its background. People who influenced Laos are listed with detailed bibliographies, including kings from Lan Xang.
In a Little Kingdom: The Tragedy of Laos, 1960-1980 by Perry Stieglitz. Written by an American who married into the royal family.
A Short History of Laos: The Land Between by Grant Evans. Chronicles the history of Laos from ancient times, when dynastic states waxed and waned, to the modern era.
The Bamboo Palace: Discovering the Lost Dynasty of Laos by Christopher Kremmer. Setting off in search of the lost royal family, a 600-year-old dynasty consumed by the violence of the 1960s and 1970s, Kremmer reveals a small corner of Asia struggling to deal with the legacies of war and Communism.
Stalking the Elephant Kings: In Search of Laos by Christopher Kremmer explores the mystery of what happened to King Savang Vatthana and his family, who disappeared from their palace in 1977 and apparently died in a communist labor camp.
The Court Chronicle of the Kings of Manipur: The Cheitharon Kumpapa - Original Text, Translation and Notes, 33-1763 CE by Saroj Nalini Arambam Parratt. Manipur was a small independent state on the Indian border with Myanmar. This court account of the state records events from the founding of the ruling dynasty in 33 CE. The volume contains a copy of the original text and an English translation, with explanatory notes and a glossary.
Philippines' 2 Millennium History by Luzano P. Canlas. A brief history from ancient times through the 20th century.
Historical Dictionary of the Philippines by Artemio R. Guillermo and May Kyi Win. An alphabetical listing of important events, people, places, and organizations which have influenced Philippine history since colonial times. Includes map and chronology.
Culture and Customs of Philippines by Paul A. Rodell. The land, people, and history; religion and thought; literature and art; cuisine and fashion; gender, marriage, and family; leisure activities; social customs and lifestyle.
Sikkim: A Traveller's Guide by Arundhati Ray, photographs by Sujoy Das. Sandwiched between Bhutan and Nepal, Sikkim is a land of myth and legend. This book offers rare photos, history, and information on visiting Sikkim. Published in 2001.
Time Change by Hope Cooke. Autobiography of an American woman who was once the wife of king of Sikkim (now part of India).
The City as Text: The Politics of Landscape Interpretation in the Kandyan Kingdom by James S. Duncan. Analyzes the relationship between landscape and the pursuit of power in the royal capital of Kandy in the central highlands of Sri Lanka during the early years of the 19th century, and demonstrates how the landscape was produced to further the interests of Kandyan kings.
Royalty in Ancient Ceylon During the Period of the "Great Dynasty" by John M. Senaveratne.
Pre-Ottoman Turkey by Claude Cahen. A general survey of the material and spiritual culture and history, c. 1071-1330.
The Formation of Turkey: The Seljukid Sultanate of Rum: Eleventh to Fourteenth Century by Claude Cahen. From Byzantium to the Mongols to the sultans of Rum, this book offers insight into the history of Turkey before the coming of Ottoman power.
The Last Emperors of Vietnam: From Tu Duc to Bao Dai by Oscar Chapuis. Covers the French colonization of Vietnam, which began under Tu Duc and ended with the eviction of Bao Dai.
Royal Hue: Heritage of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam by Vu Hong Lien. Hue is the ancient, royal capital of Vietnam. This book traces its development under 143 years of Nguyen rule. Includes photographs.
A Vietnamese Royal Exile in Japan: Prince Cuong De, 1882-1951 by My-Van Tran. Prince Cuong De, a pretender to the Vietnamese throne, spent much of his life in Japan, lobbying for Japanese help in driving the French out of his country.
The End of the Vietnamese Monarchy by Bruce McFarland Lockhart.
A History of Vietnam: From Hong Bang to Tu Duc by Oscar Chapuis. A history of Vietnam from its prehistory to the end of the Tu Duc dynasty in 1883.
Hermitage Among the Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh, translated by Annabel Laity. This historical novel tells the story of Tran Nhan Tong, 13th king of what is now North Vietnam, who abdicated his throne to become a Buddhist monk, and of his daughter, Princess Amazing Jewel. Illustrated.
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