This innovative text explores the extraordinary personal and political lives of ten leaders who profoundly changed twentieth-century Asian history. China, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia are interpreted through the lives of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Mohandas Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Ho Chi Minh, Ngo Dinh Diem, Norodom Sihanouk, Pol Pot, Sukarno, and Suharto. Some recast their countries by force of arms, others by the power of their ideology. Some were born into poverty, others into privilege. Some were democrats, some autocrats, some communists. But however great their differences, each can claim to be an authentic nationalist. Using a biographical approach, this book will stimulate students to think about the relationship between political leadership and nationalism.
A superb job of objectively summarizing the lives of each leader by providing fact-based, often critical, biographies. The descriptions of each country are also extremely useful; the authors offer much more information about the five countries covered than simply the political and economic impact of the leaders chosen for this study. The level of detail and clear organization would make this an excellent textbook for a college-level class concerned with Asian history.--Mike McKeon "Current History: A Journal of Contemporary World Affairs "