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Empire of the Winds: The Global Role of Asia’s Great Archipelago Hardcover – 30 November 2018

4.6 out of 5 stars 3 ratings

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Product details

  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1788314468
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1788314466
  • Customer reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 3 ratings

Product description


This fast-paced book by a respected journalist describes how the islands and coastal territories of Southeast Asia have consistently been a crucial element in world history … The book is a good corrective to global histories that tend to study the world from a European- or Sino-centered perspective … [It] brings forward a lively story about how trade, religion, and culture crossed many boundaries, including oceans, from earliest recorded history, centrally involving the islands and coastal territories of Southeast Asia. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. ― CHOICE

Bowring, in a remarkable display of taut writing, whisks us through the archipelago’s geological eruption and mythic floods to the rise and fall of multiple port states and emerging regional dynasties and into the modern era of disruption, decay and dismemberment in less than 300 pages. At the same time, he does a wonderful demolition job on Beijing’s self-serving take on Asian history. ― South China Morning Post

[Bowring] writes this rich and rambling history as in fact a narrative of change and renewal … It is not easy to convince policymakers that history might be the place to look for solutions, yet we have nowhere else to turn to imagine what might yet be possible. ― Literary Review

Beautifully presented with numerous informative maps, excellent illustrations and a very useful glossary, it is both a fascinating read and a very valuable history of one of the world’s most important regions. ― Baird Maritime

A fascinating book ... packed with names, dates and events as Asia's Great Archipelago is packed with islands―well over 30,000 on anyone's count ... An important and timely book ... [For the general reader] who is looking to better understand a complex and pivotal region of the modern world, Empire of the Winds is a must-read. ― Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

Rich in detail, and laced with vivid anecdotes ... Bowring notes that Nusantaria is just as vulnerable to climate change as it was after the Ice Age ... will the book's excellent maps of Nusantaria have to be drawn again? ― The Correspondent

This hardcover book is handsomely produced with a beautiful dust jacket showing fine Nusantarian galleys in the Moluccas, recorded during the Louis de Freycinet expedition of 1817–20. It’s a volume that offers readers a deeper understanding of the vibrant maritime peoples and events that unfolded literally on Australia’s tropical northern doorstep, to better appreciate the complex development of the human, political and economic region that we inhabit. -- Jeffrey Mellefont ― New Mandela Published On: 2019-07-05

In contrast and happy opposition to the national frameworks that nowadays limit most historical understandings of the diverse islands and coastlines that make up Southeast Asia―or Nusantaria, as he calls it, Bowring weaves a bright tapestry stretching across the centuries and the oceans to capture our eyes and minds, and remind us of the significance and richness of this often misunderstood corner of the world. ― Ooi Kee Beng, Penang Institute (Malaysia)

Philip Bowring has produced an absorbing and timely history of maritime Southeast Asia. Ranging from prehistoric times to the present, he deftly harnesses an impressive range of sources into a compelling and fast-paced narrative. Bowring has important things to say about how disparate elements – of geography, culture, economic relations and political dynamics – have shaped a complex region that has long been central to global history. ― Gareth Richards, Judge, Penang Book Prize 2019, founder of Gerakbudaya Bookshop Penang and Hikayat

About the Author

Philip Bowring is an Asia-based journalist and is an expert on maritime history and the history of Southeast Asia.

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
Tracy Dahlby
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important History from a Veteran Journalist and Asia Expert
20 June 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
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7 people found this helpful
Jame DiBiasio
4.0 out of 5 stars Revealing history of Southeast Asia
24 July 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
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