Global Studies: Japan and the Pacific Rim

(Series description) GLOBAL STUDIES is a unique series designed to provide comprehensive background information and selected world press articles on the regions and countries of the world. Each GLOBAL STUDIES volume includes an annotated listing of World Wide Web sites and is now supported by an online Instructor’s Resource Guide. —
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University of Utah
Salt Lake City
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Average: 5 (1 vote)


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Review of Global Studies: Japan and the Pacific Rim

Field of Interest/Specialty: Chinese History
Posted On: 07/26/2012

Review by Dr. David Kenley
Produced by McGraw Hill, this is a series of texts designed to study particular countries and regions of the world. In the case of Asia, the following titles are available: Japan and the Pacific Rim, China, and India and South Asia. Each volume includes a country report, which introduces the reader to the history, politics, economics, society, and culture of each nation (approximately 20-50 pages long). The majority of the text, however, is reprints of short essays and articles from newspapers, magazines, and scholarly publications, such as Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign Affairs, China Brief, and Current History.
Designed to be accessible to the average adult reader, the texts are wonderful tools for studying contemporary Asian affairs. Each article is between 2 and 10 pages in length. The articles are in no particular order, but it is relatively easy to find pairs that “speak” to each other, representing differing interpretations of the same issue. Some common topics include military and international relations, economic development, nationalism, social stability, environmentalism, and other similar current events.
High school students would find most of the articles accessible, and middle school students could certainly analyze shorter articles with some guidance. You could assign different articles to groups of students and then have them debate a particular issue. Since Global Studies releases new editions quite frequently (the China volume is in its fourteenth edition), the articles represent the latest interpretations of current events. Each paperback volume is rather affordable ($30-$40) and they are available in Kindle versions as well. Each volume includes a listing of Internet sites, an online Instructor's Resource Guide, and a quiz and discussion question bank.