In this essays, distinguished scholars of modern east Asia distil from long years of research interpretive accounts of late 19th- and 20th-century China, Japan, and Korea. They describe particular features of the modern experience of east Asian countries. At the same time, they address some common themes. One of these themes is the impact of the West on China, Japan, and Korea and the different ways in which each of these countries resisted western imperialism while trying to adapt their traditional cultures to the West. Each also sought to integrate itself into a global ecomic and diplomatic system. ather overarching theme that these essays stress is the role of nationalism as a powerful motivating force in these countries' modern development. New students of Asian affairs as well as long-time specialists will value the insights and overview of the political, social, ecomic, cultural, and international issues described for this important area of the world.
Merle Goldman is Professor of History, Emerita, at Boston University and Associate of the John K. Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University. Andrew Gordon is Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University.