I’ve just finished reading two books. First up The Japan Experience by WG Beasley is a great guide to Japanese history from the sixth century to the present. If it had any fault it would be that the there needed to be more emphasis on post-war Japan, but the book is more of an overview, Beasley has a book the covers modern Japan from 1850 (The Rise Modern Japan: Economic and Social Change since 1850).
Unlike many history text books Beasley manages to strike the right balance between accessibility and at the same time providing a huge amount of content. Something that the writers of the marketing textbooks I read at college could have learned a lot from!
There are certain parallels that can be drawn from the expansionist Japan of the Meji period to secure resources and markets and the war against terror to secure resources and markets, but that’s a discussion for another time…
Wordsworth Classics have always provided good quality books at a very reasonable price, in the same kind of spirit that Penguin was founded on. Their version of Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu is no exception.
Tao Te Ching is the first book to do with Taoist philosophy, originally written back when my ancestors were busy raiding Ulster to steal prized cattle. The introduction by Arthur Waley makes it accessible and contextualises it for Western readers.