井底之蛙

10/8/2007

Book stuff

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 7:16 pm

Once again it is time to ask questions about books. Order forms for the Spring are due, so I need to figure out what I want to order. Thus I am asking for suggestions.

The courses for spring

History of East Asia aka Rice Paddies

Ebrey for a textbook. For books I was thinking of using Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book (Has anyone looked at the new Penguin translation? Is it as good as Morris? Morris is expensive) The Shaddick translation of  Travels of Lao Ts’an and Katsuei Yuasa’s Kannani and Document of Flames: Two Japanese Colonial Novels (Has anyone taught this? How did it go?)
As you can see there are no monographs in here (not that I am opposed to them in a sophomore class, but I tend towards more literary stuff.) Any suggestions of substitutions that would fit the pattern are most welcome.

Modern China (Which goes back to the High Qing)
No text, I think, as much as I like Schoppa’s text and as much as notext makes me nervous. Instead Kuhn Soulstealers (Almost too early for this class, but it works so well.) Baumler Modern China and Opium (Sort of subs for a text, as it reprints a bunch of primary sources that cover a lot of the issues of the period. Plus the deathless prose of the introductions will cause all my students to go out and buy 300 copies for their friends.) Reed Gutenberg in Shanghai: Chinese Print Capitalism, 1876-1937 (This one makes me nervous. I loved it. Some labor history, some politics, some intellectual history. Will it work for undergrads? Maybe Schoppa’s Blood Road instead?) Finally Gilley Model Rebels: The Rise and Fall of China’s Richest Village (I suspect there are any number of reform-era books that would work, but this jumped out at me )

Bonus course
I also have two sections of Introduction to History, our methods course for undergraduate history majors. As always I will be leading them through a monograph, in this case Cohen History in Three Keys on the Boxers and we will of course watch 55 Days at Peking I think we will also do some social annotation work with Diggo, which allows you to do social annotation on any web page. Any suggestions on readings, or primary sources on the Boxers that are on-line or that I could put on-line are very welcome.

The good helmsman

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 4:12 pm

With double ten around the corner it seems a good time to discuss the vexed question of who was China’s greatest leader.1 Via ESNW we learn that at least in Taiwan the answer is Chiang Ching-Kuo.

Chiang

Almost half of respondents called him Taiwan’s greatest President, 77% said that his positives outweighed his negatives, and a mere 4% said the opposite. For all those who have spent many hours debating if Mao was 60% good and 40% bad or vice versa these are pretty impressive numbers. Double ten would be a great day to raise a glass of vodka in honor of one of the great heroes of democracy in Asia.

  1. In keeping with the spirit of the holiday only democratically elected leaders may apply []

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