The Modern World, Volume 5: Civilizations of Asia and the Pacific By Sarolta, Ph.D. Takacs Number Of Pages: 800 (set of 5 volumes) Publication Date: 2008-12 ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0765680963 (set of 5 volumes) ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780765680969 (set of 5 volumes)
Designed to meet the curriculum needs for students from grades 7 to 12, this five-volume encyclopedia explores world history from approximately 5000 C.E. to the present. Organized alphabetically within geographical volumes on Africa, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, and Asia and the Pacific, entries cover the social, political, scientific and technological, economic, and cultural events and developments that shaped the modern world.Each volume includes articles on history, government, and warfare; the development of ideas and the growth of art and architecture; religion and philosophy; music; science and technology; and daily life in the civilizations covered. Boxed features include "Turning Point," "Great Lives," "Into the Twenty-First Century," and "Modern Weapons". Maps, timelines, and illustrations illuminate the text, and a glossary, a selected bibliography, and an index in each volume round out the set.
While it is possible to speak of an Asia-Pacific region geographically, it is more difficult to trace a shared character or even a shared history in this vast area, whose peoples belong to more than 1,000 cultural groups and speak thousands of languages. Just as they vary greatly in size, the countries of modern Asia and the Pacific host a huge array of populations, natural resources, and cultures. Today, Asian and Pacific nations continue to incorporate and adapt outside influences, including Western influence, to their unique local cultures. The appearance of Western chain restaurants and luxury hotels alongside skyscrapers housing thriving commercial and banking interests attests to the brisk and vigorous exchange of ideas between Asia and the rest of the world. Western popular culture, evident, for example, in film and fashion, has inspired similar industries in the urban areas of India and South Korea, while Japanese and Taiwanese manufacturers set a world standard for products such as automobiles and media technology. Along with this infusion of foreign culture, many modern Asian citizens retain deep respect for tradition. To preserve their distinct cultural heritage, for instance, young couples in Japan continue to marry according to Shinto customs, which are based on the earliest religion of Japan. Ancestor worship in China, animistic rituals in the Pacific islands, and shamanism in South Korea exist side by side with modern technology and conveniences. The Hindu majority in India still maintains a traditional caste system of hereditary social ranking and follows practices of arranged marriages and the giving of dowries.