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A History of Asia (7th Edition) Paperback – Oct 9 2013


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Paperback, Oct 9 2013
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 7 edition (Oct. 9 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0205168558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205168552
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 21.6 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,144,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most helpful customer reviews

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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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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Idreece Ahmad on Feb. 17 2002
Format: Paperback
While it is understandable that every histrical account, treatise or even research based on available historical data tends to get subjective, it is hardly an excuse when blatant personal biases come through in a text book written by a so called scholar.
Murphey's version of "A History of Asia" is the text book assigned for my otherwise wonderful Asian Studies class.
Let me quote some examples from the sixth edition:(pp110 para 6) "Plunder and slaughter in the name of God did not make a good impression for Islam on most Indians, but the austere new religion with its offer of certanity and equality of all did apeal to some, as wherever it spread to other countries." So what is the author saying?? He is talking about Mahmud of Ghazni whose "remote mountain ringed capital became a great center of Islamic Culture, thanks in part to stolen Indian riches." So, is he saying that Islam brought equality and justice to India, or is he saying that Islam brought plunder and brutalty to the region, or is it his own bias showing through?
It is also interesting to note that when finding a passage to quote from the Quran, as opposed to the ones he picks to quote from other scriptures, he chooses the now fashionable-to-quote: "Fight in the name of God against those who fight against you, but do not commit aggression..." is this all that Islam represents to the learned professor that he wants to pass on to his audience? Did he care to mention the context in which those verses were said and written? Did he know that that the first thirteen years of Islam, Muslims were forbidden to fight back even in the face of violent persecution, the kind known only to the Arabian desert of 1500 years ago?
Lets move on...
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A great scholarly introduction to the history of Asia July 30 2006
By Nicholas M - Published on Amazon.com
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.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Well organized and interesting April 15 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Buy the 6th Edition at least March 15 2012
By J. Trees - Published on Amazon.com
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.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
It's a Textbook June 5 2001
By Kevin L. Nenstiel - Published on Amazon.com
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Kindle Version - Pictures Have Inverted Colors July 5 2014
By AlphaPoppa - Published on Amazon.com
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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