Taiwan : Political History / Edition 1

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For centuries, various great powers have both exploited and benefited Taiwan, their designs for this island frequently clashing with the desire of local inhabitants to control their own destiny. Such conflicts have shaped Taiwan's multiple, and frequently contradictory, identities. Denny Roy contends that Taiwan's political history is best understood as a continuous struggle for security. Eschewing the usual emphasis on the high politics of the recent era, he offers a comprehensive narrative of the island's political history from the first Chinese settlements to the Chen Shui-bian presidency. Roy covers the political system constructed by the KMT during the Cold War, the opposition breakthrough, the presidency of Lee Teng-hui, and the DPP presidential victory in March 2000. Roy's approach allows him to integrate his understanding of Taiwan's domestic politics with its foreign affairs—particularly the relations with mainland China. He reveals how the interplay between political forces within and the influence of foreign countries from without has shaped Taiwan. His is a balanced account, incorporating up-to-date coverage and presenting many indigenous voices. Taiwan: A Political History illuminates the origins of the island's often-troubled domestic and international political situation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Every few years a new attempt is made to write the story of Taiwan's political and diplomatic history. . . . Denny Roy's new work, Taiwan: A Political History, goes well beyond any single volume that has yet come out, presenting the most complete historical analysis to date of the island. . . . Articulate and accessible."—Macabre Krier, Far Eastern Economic Review, February 27, 2003

"This is a history that provides excellent background information for understanding the complexities of the current 'Taiwan problem.'"—- Foreign Affairs 82:2, 2003

Roy's study focuses on Taiwan's 18th-century history, with emphases on the Japanese occupation (1895-1945), return of Chinese rule under the Kuomintang (including martial law administration), Taiwan's status in the Cold War, and democratization in the 1980s. . . . This is a readable and well-argued interpretation of Taiwan's recent history. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels.—Choice, February 2004

"Denny Roy's sympathetic yet discerning approach begins by relating the often underrepresented description of pre-Dutch colonialism's impact on Taiwan. . . . Roy concludes with a current profile of Taiwan's political climate and disposition toward independence from mainland China, including many of the implications that this debate involves."—A. Maria Utley, University of Louisville, Perspectives on Political Science 33:1, Winter 2004

"Anyone wishing to read a compelling and thorough history of Taiwan will do no better than turn in the first instance to Denny Roy's new volume. Its aspiration is simple: to trace the political development of Taiwan from Chinese outpost and contested European colony to twenty-first-century democracy. Applying a broad-brush approach, Taiwan is a careful synthesis of the published research with few surprises for the specialist, but the book will appeal most to the non-specialist and the student market. . . . There are no superior introductions to Taiwan's extraordinary political development, and this is a useful teaching text."—Gary D. Rawnsley, The China Quarterly 2003

"This comprehensive, accurate, and very readable account of Taiwan's road to democratization puts contemporary developments in historical context. Specialists, students, policy-makers, and general readers alike will enjoy Denny Roy's lucid and engaging telling of this extraordinary story."—Shelley Rigger, Davidson College

"Denny Roy's useful and sensible approach not only underscores many of the dilemmas evident in Taiwan's development experience, but also helps bridge this case study with themes in mainstream political science."—Vincent Wei-cheng Wang, University of Richmond

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801488054
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,371,540
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2003

    'Excellent backgound information'

    Lucian W. Pye's review in FORIEGN AFFAIRS, March-April 2003: 'This is a history that provides excellent background information for understanding the complexities of the current 'Taiwan problem.' Tracing the changing formation of Taiwanese identity and the island's continuous search for security, Roy gives a straightforward account of the turbulent rise and fall of all who have sought to rule the island. His story extends from the first Chinese settlers (the Ming dynasty loyalists fighting rear-guard actions against the Qing dynasty) through the Dutch, Portuguese, Qing, and Japanese periods of colonial rule, concluding with the Nationalist Chinese era and Chen Shui-bian's presidency. He shows a repeated pattern of people migrating from mainland China and developing a separate Taiwanese identity. It is a rich and fascinating history, but it offers no easy solutions to the current problems in Taiwan-China-U.S. relations.'

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