Monday, February 20, 2012

Back to work...

Apologies for the lack of posts of late!  I am once again back on campus and enrolled in classes, and seeing as how my volume of homework has picked up recently, I don't have as much time for personal reading.  I was recently inspired by the benefits of self-learning again through a Wikipedia page on Sean Parker though, so I'm going to renew my efforts and try to balance personal reading and classwork.

I went to the library today to get a book on South Korean politics for an upcoming presentation, and true to form, I went on a giant book binge.  Grabbing titles indiscriminately, stealing books from unsuspecting library patrons, tearing out pages (just kidding...)  In truth, I just ended up borrowing far too many books that caught my eye. We'll see how many I can get through!

For this past month and a half, I've been crawling through Harry Gelber's "The Dragon and the Foreign Devils," which is just a basic, comprehensive history of China.  I realized that I have such little understanding of Chinese history, and this is an area that I will need to keep working on.  It's going to take a lot of repetition and practice.  With Gelber's help, I at least have a better sense for the chronology of the different dynasties.  

But anyway, based off of the books I grabbed at the library today, here are some focus areas for the next few months:

1.  China's Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279)
2.  Contemporary Japanese politics
3.   Nationalist China
4.  Collapse of the Qing dynasty/revolutionary developments in China from 1911 - 1919

Also, here's a cover shot of Harry Gelber's book:

The Dragon and the Foreign Devils: China and the World, 1100 B.C. to the Present