Cover: Makers of Modern Asia, from Harvard University PressCover: Makers of Modern Asia in PAPERBACK

Makers of Modern Asia

Edited by Ramachandra Guha

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Product Details


$30.00 • £24.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674970809

Publication Date: 11/21/2016


400 pages

Belknap Press


[An] entertaining and illuminating collection of essays… The chapters on Sukarno, by James Rush, and on Bhutto, by Farzana Shaikh, are exceptional.The Economist

Biographies of 11 galvanizers of modern Asian nationalism, from Gandhi to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, underscore the importance of politics before economics… Editor Guha reminds Western readers in his introduction that to concentrate on Asia’s stunning recent economic rise without studying the nationalist developments that preceded it is to ignore (again), at our great loss, the essential makeup and character of these nations. He argues that through understanding the lives of these founders, many of whom—Zhou Enlai and Ho Chi Minh, for example—gleaned their first political understanding from the West, we can grasp the wider political and social processes they effected in their own countries. Composed by various Western and Asian scholars and writers, these essays offer pithy highlights of each individual’s early life and political development, followed by delineation of how each applied his or her beliefs (for good or ill) to anti-colonial campaigns.Kirkus Reviews

A much-needed collection… Compared to many biographies of Western political leaders, these stories lack the commercial drama and overheated sensationalism of the bestselling variety, but that characteristic may be a welcome respite for many readers.Publishers Weekly

It is all too easy to forget the volcanic history that lies just beneath Asia’s recent economic boom. Makers of Modern Asia reminds us of the immediacy of this history by bringing together biographies of eleven national leaders of the 20th century whose ruthless pursuit of modernity and power must continue to shape Asia’s course in the future.—Timothy Brook, author of Mr. Selden’s Map of China

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