The Sixteenth Century Global Economy:
Global silver flows in the wake of European discoveries; commercialization of China draws in silver from the New World and Japan. Transformations of Chinese culture by silver, printing, and coastal trade; the impact of the Mongols of the Northwest frontier. Reunification of Japan also promoted by money and firearms.
Brook, Timothy. The Confusions of Pleasure. Studies the impact of the growing commercial culture on China during the Ming dynasty [1368 -1644]. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, "Summer" and "Fall" 1998, pp. 153-262. ISBN: 9780520210912.
Pomeranz, and Topik. The World That Trade Created. Thematic survey of the rise of global trading systems, with many good anecdotes. London, UK: M.E. Sharpe, 2000, pp. 3-21, 41-43, 51-3, and 59-62. ISBN: 9780765602503.
Seventeenth Century Crises and Eighteenth Century Flourishing Ages:
Collapse of Ming and rise of Manchus: a new example of Central Asian conquest. The Jesuit interlude in China: role of Jesuits in science, military technology, and philosophy East and West. Early Tokugawa stabilization and trends in thought.
Waley-Cohen, Joanna. The Sextants of Beijing. A survey stressing China's constant openness to outside influence. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000, chapters 2, and 3. ISBN: 9780393320510.
Nineteenth Century Declines and Revivals:
China's crises: internal or external? Role of opium trade vs. population pressure. Internal rebellions, fiscal exhaustion, opium's penetration, European imperial wars. Efforts at self strengthening, to increase wealth and power [fuguo qiangbing/fukoku kyohei] in both China in Japan in late 19th century. Japan's success after Meiji vs. China's failure. The crux: Sino-Japanese War of 1895.
Hane, Mikiso. "Vivid descriptions of the poorest people in Japan, who suffered for the country's modernization." In Peasants, rebels, and outcastes: the underside of modern Japan. New York, NY: Pantheon, 1982, pp. 173-204. ISBN: 9780394519630.
Pomeranz, and Topik. The World That Trade Created. Thematic survey of the rise of global trading systems, with many good anecdotes. London, UK: M.E. Sharpe, 2000, pp. 84-6, 99-105, 121-4, 133-6, 161-3, 168-71, and 214-28. ISBN: 9780765602503.
Twentieth Century Upheavals:
Japan's role as imperial power, after defeat of Russia in 1905. China's revolution; rise of nationalism, increasingly focused against Japan. US Open Door policy in China, but anti-immigration laws at home. First World War gives Japan further openings to advance in China [21 Demands], China's frustration at Versailles generates May 4th movement. Rise of Nationalist and Communist parties. Nanking decade [1927-37] as period of internationalization, cut off by Japanese invasion. Militarization of Japan, leading to autarchy, and war in China. Racial perceptions during the Pacific War.
Iriye, Akira. China and Japan in the Global Setting. A series of three lectures on broad themes of Sino-Japanese relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998, pp. 3-88. ISBN: 9780674118393.
Pomeranz, and Topik. The World That Trade Created. Thematic survey of the rise of global trading systems, with many good anecdotes. London, UK: M.E. Sharpe, 2000, pp. 140-3, 190-2, 198-201, and 235-7. ISBN: 9780765602503.
Post World War II Reform and Reconstruction:
The Cold War pushes the PRC into Soviet embrace, and draws Japan into American alliance. Limited reforms of Japan under Occupation. Significance of the retention of the emperor in making Japan distinctive. Efforts at radical transformation in PRC, first with Soviet aid, then without. China's ultimate isolation during Cultural Revolution, followed by rapid opening and reform. US Japan relations during and after the Cold War.
Dower, John. Embracing Defeat. Pulitzer Prize winning study of the experience of the Japanese people after the end of World War II. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000, pp. 33-64, 121-67, 254-76, 346-73, and 443-84. ISBN: 9780393320275.
Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War:
Nationalist reunification movements in Korea and Vietnam are seen as Soviet-Chinese expansionist moves, inducing U.S. intervention. Consequences for China, Japan, and Taiwan. Beginnings of the East Asian economic "miracles" in Japan, Korea, Taiwan.
Iriye, Akira. China and Japan in the Global Setting. A series of three lectures on broad themes of Sino-Japanese relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998, pp.91-142. ISBN: 9780674118393.
Post-Cold War Reevaluations:
China's reforms and opening to global economy; the puzzling slowdown of Japan's economic growth; Korea's rapid economic boom and sudden crash; US reevaluations of economic and strategic alliances. 1989: A critical year in world history. The Asian Financial Crisis of 1997: A Year of No Significance? Asian values and Western ideologies.
Johnson, Chalmers. Japan: Who Governs: The Rise of the Developmental State. The foremost U.S. political scientist studying Japan describes the institutions that made possible the Japanese miracle, and why the U.S. fails to understand them. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1995, pp. 51-112. ISBN: 9780393037395.
Katz, Michael. Japan: The System That Soured. Hard-hitting discussion of what went wrong with Japan's economy in the 1990s, and how to save it. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1998, pp. 3-46, 318-46. ISBN: 9780765603104.
Mohammad, Mahathir, and Shintaro Ishihara. The Voice of Asia. Two prominent Asian politicians proclaim that Asians should not follow Western prescriptions, for their economies or for human rights. 1st ed. Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha International, 1996. ISBN: 9784770020437.
Contemporary issues in the light of history:
The role of historical memory in international relations: e.g. Nanking massacre; CCP-KMT alliances vs. Japan. The conundrum of Taiwan PRC relations. Frontier Questions: Tibet and Central Asia.
Teng-hui, Lee. The Road to Democracy: Taiwan's Pursuit of Democracy. Taiwan's former President, harshly criticized by Beijing, outlines his views of Taiwan's future. 1st ed. New York, NY: Dell Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN: 9784569606514.
Hein, Laura, and Mark Selden. Censoring History. Describes how textbooks in the US, Japan, and Germany distort the teaching of modern world history. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2000, pp. 3-73, 150-7. ISBN: 9780765604477.