This book is the culmination of an ambitious multi-year research project, of which I was a part, wherein Rana Mitter proposed to re-examine as many aspects as possible of China’s experience of the highly destructive, eight-year war with Japan.
In 1988, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak famously posed the question regarding the peoples of the Indian subcontinent, 'Can the subaltern speak?'.(1) Spivak referred to the seemingly insurmountable challenge of writing a history of the colonized masses when nearly all of the available sources were products of the colonizers and thus reflected their preoccupations, biases, a
Recent developments in Ukraine and Crimea have raised a number of questions about Russia and her political machinations.
Historians of the British Indian army, with little exception, have argued that Indian soldiers, or Sipahis, were incapable of acting on their own: they were led into anti-British political activities by ‘outsiders’ (1), they were loyal because ‘others’ told them to be loyal (2), and they could not be disloyal to the British as the sol
The history of narcotics in Asia in the last century and a half has been the subject of considerable controversy and significant revision over the last 20 years or so.
History has demonstrated assimilation under colonial occupation to be a near impossible result to attain due primarily to its basic premise: the colonizers’ belief in their superiority over the colonized. Furthermore, the colonizers’ ambition to replace the colonized people’s ‘inferior’ culture with their ‘superior’ culture further complicated this process.
In 1942, as Japanese forces swept through Southeast Asia, retreating British colonial officers decided to shoot the dangerous animals living in Rangoon Zoo and to release the harmless ones. Because of their own uncertain futures and limited supplies, they also killed the Zoo’s deer for meat to supplement their increasingly meagre diets.
Unsurprisingly, given the significant First World War anniversary that is now upon us, there has been a raft of new books on the conflict with a variety of foci; each aimed at different groups on the spectrum of amateur enthusiast to hardened academic scholar.
The comparative history of empires has become a very popular subject in recent years, provoking interesting debates on the origins of the globalization process and on the future of post-Cold War international relations.(1) The focus on empires has also provided a constructive way to reassess the role of Europe in world history, going beyond the traditional great narrat