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From the publisher:
Asia – with four billion people, almost two-thirds of the world’s population, a huge landmass and the fastest-growing economies – has in the past decade transformed the geopolitical global balance. “Empires at War” gives a dramatic narrative account of how this ‘Modern Asia’ came into being. Taking the bombing of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945 as its starting point, Francis Pike chronicles the modern fortunes of fourteen Asian countries. The iconic figures of post-World War II Asia – Mao, Gandhi, Nehru, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung, General MacArthur and Lord Mountbatten – figure prominently but so also do a great many lesser-known but pivotal figures. Francis Pike weaves the dramatic events and episodes of the region – the great battles between American and Soviet-backed forces in Korea and Vietnam but also episodes such as Indian ‘Partition’, Japan’s ‘Lost Decade’, Indonesia’s ‘Year of Living Dangerously’ and Cambodia’s ‘Killing Fields’ – into a coherent whole, which forms the essential guide to the history of modern Asia.