This book deals with "Punches and Punch-like" magazines in 19th and 20th century Asia, covering an area from Egypt and the Ottoman Empire in the West via British India up to China and Japan in the East. It traces an alternative and largely unacknowledged side of the history of this popular British periodical, and simultaneously casts a wide-reaching comparative glance on the genesis of satirical journalism in various Asian countries. Demonstrating the spread of both textual and visual satire, it is an apt demonstration of the transcultural trajectory of a format intimately linked to media-bound public spheres evolving in the period concerned.
The Chinese province of Yunnan has been undergoing a dynamic process of repositioning, from a Southwestern periphery of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to a "bridgehead" between China and its neighbors in Southeast and South Asia. This repositioning has found expression in ideas about the province's geopolitical positioning, policy frameworks, involvement in transborder institutions, infrastructure development and commerce.
Svat Soucek's book offers a short and accessible introduction to the history of Inner Asia. The narrative, which begins with the arrival of Islam, charts the rise and fall of the different dynasties right up to the Russian conquest. Dynastic tables and maps augment and elucidate the text. The contemporary focus rests on the seven countries which make up the core of present-day Eurasia, that is Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Sinkiang and Mongolia. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, renewed interest in these countries has prompted considerable political, cultural, economic and religious debate. While a divergent literature has evolved in consequence, no comprehensive survey of the region has been attempted. Soucek's history promises to fill this gap and to become an indispensable source of information for anyone studying or visiting the region.
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