Defining Documents in World History: Asia Review

“Shally-Jensen leads a team of contributors who introduce readers to more than 50 primary source documents in eastern and southern Asian history from ancient through modern times. His experience editing dozens of other reference titles keeps the contributors to a consistent format that includes an overview, author biography, defining moment, and document themes and analysis. The latter is refreshing and particularly useful to undergraduates. The historical documents are mostly less than five pages. For large documents, like the Art of War, the Doctrine of the Mean, and the Tale of Genji, such small excerpts offer readers a brief interaction with the material. The content is accurate without obvious errors. Many of the contributors are professors in Asian history. The selection of entries includes literary, religious, and philosophical titles, blurring the definition of a series entitled "Defining Documents in World History…” Only a few of the documents are easily found online, adding further value to this resource.”
-CHOICE, 2019

"At the article level, this book has a nice structure to it. The primary document is highlighted separately from the rest of the article. The articles are standardized and consist of a brief overview, a “defining moment” detailing why the document was created, who wrote the document, and an analysis of themes. All articles are signed and helpfully provide the name of the translator. Each article has a short bibliography at the end for additional references. Articles are easy to read and would be applicable for high school through adult readers.

The overall scope of this volume is a bit problematic. The 20th century gets the most weight in this volume; all articles related to Korea and Southeast Asia are from this period. Geographically, East Asia gets the most coverage, particularly China. The final bibliography looks to be a compilation of the bibliographies from the individual articles.

In total, this work provides a good introduction to individual documents and may be useful for a broad survey course of modern Asia. Recommended."
-ARBA, 2019