Taiwan English Book List
1. Ahern, Emily Martin & Gates, Hill, ed. 1981.The Anthropology of Taiwanese Society. California, Leland Stanford Junior University Press. ISBN 957-638-401-X
This is one of the first modern books on Taiwanese Anthropology available to English Speaking readers. Many of the articles in this volume are the cornerstones of the field of Taiwan studies. Contributors include articles by Stevan Harrell, Edgar Wickberg, Arthur P. Wolf, Harry Lamely, Cheng-min Chen etc…
Quote: “ Nevertheless, mainlanders have long benefited from ethnic separation. Between 1945 and 1949, when class and ethnicity were highly congruent, even the poorest mainlanders enjoyed several over wealthy and formerly powerful Taiwanese.”
2. Balcom, John and Yingtsih. Ed. 2005. Indigenous Writers of Taiwan: An Anthology of Stories, Essays, & Poems. New York, Columbia University Press, NY. ISBN 0-231-13650-1
3. Bellwood, Peter. 1979. Man’s Conquest of the Pacific. New York, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-520103-5
Peter Bellwood is best known for his work with Robert Blust on the thesis that Taiwan represents the first point of Austronesian culture, the culture that spread across the seas to become the widest spread pre-Columbian civilization in the world. This book gives an archaeological account of the postulated human spread into the Pacific.
4. Blum, Susan and Jensen, Lionel M. eds. 2002. China Off Center: Mapping the Margins of the Middle Kingdom. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press, Hawaii. ISBN 0-8248-2577-2
5. Blundell, David, ed. 2000. Austronesian Taiwan: Linguistics; History; Ethnology; Prehistory. Taipei, Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines Publishing. ISBN 0-936127-09-0
This book gives a great overview of Austronesian studies and even adds depth to some of the works listed above.
6. Blusse, Leonard & Everts, Natalie, ed. 2000. The Formosan Encounter: Notes on Formosa’s Aboriginal Society-A selection of Documents from Dutch Archival Sources Vol. I & Vol. II. Taipei, Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines. ISBN 957-99767-24 & ISBN 957-99767-7-5
This is a great series that brings the plains of Taiwan into focus. The Dutch sources are invaluable to understanding Taiwan’s history.
Quote: “ They have to make sure the islanders, lacking food or drink will be forced by starvation to surrender themselves. In the mean time you should apply all means to lure them out of their caves and caverns…At once our men erected a stockade which completely surrounded the cavern and forty soldiers received orders to guard it, and cut off any food or drinks. At the same time the inhabitants were distressed by all kinds of noxious fumes….From a missive we learn that a pitiful crying can be heard from the women and children in the cavern. Our men believe it contains quite a large number of people…when from below no sound was heard anymore, our men went down into the cave and discovered about 200-300 dead bodies-not including those who had been burnt by them. The exact number could not be counted because of the stench…It seems it has pleased the Almighty to conduct this affair is such a way as to let them be brought to justice for beating to death our people and others.”
7. Blust, Robert A. Austronesian Root Theory. 1988. Philidelphia, John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 90-272-3020-X
Dr. Blust explains the morphology of Austronesian languages which could be useful in demonstrating how Taiwan is the origin if the Austronesian culture and language.
8. Brown, Melissa J, ed. 1996. Negotiating Ethnicities in China and Taiwan. The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, CA, ISBN 1-55729-048-2
To understand the nature of identity change and the Han identity this is a great book. Two of the most interesting chapters Surnames and Han Chinese Identity, On Becoming Chinese and Taiwan and the Impossibility of the Chinese, specifically deal with the realities of identity change in Taiwan.
9. Brown, Melissa J. Is Taiwan Chinese? : The Impact of Culture, Power and Migration on Changing Identities. 2004. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23182-1
Despite the title, this book deals more with the way Han people have been allowed to enter and exit han culture. Brown focuses of plains aborigines of the former Siraya tribe and examines how and when they became Han. Brown also compares the phenomenon of becoming Han to the PRC’s own programs in En Shi, of “creating” minzu out of people who had succeeded in forming a Han identity. The book is very well done and look for more work out of Brown focusing on Taichung.
Quote: “Because Taiwan’s sociopolitical experience took a different path from China’s Taiwanese identity does not neatly correspond to any of these PRC identities-ethnic minority or regional Han. Before 1895, when Taiwan came under Japanese colonial rule, people in Taiwan did not think of themselves as a unified group. Although Han in Taiwan undoubtedly viewed themselves as different from non-Han, there is no evidence of unity among the Han.
10. Campbell, W.M. 1903. Formosa Under the Dutch. London, Kegan Paul,Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd. Reprinted 1987,1992,2001, SMC Publishing, Taipei
Campbell gives a condensed interpretation of Dutch records and histories on Taiwan. This book became the first record available on the subject and is still widely cited today.
Quote:”It would, however, be better still if the unmarried man would choose a native woman to be his wife.”
11. Campbell, Rev. William. 1915. Sketches of Formosa. Marshall Brothers Ltd. London, Edinburgh, New York, reprinted by SMC Publishing Inc 1996. ISBN 957-638-377-3
Another one of Cambell's books on Euro-American observations of Taiwan.
12. Cheng, Ch’ing Wen, 1983. Three Legged Horse. New York, Columbia University Press. ISBN 0 231-11386-2
A collection of short stories and a fine example of “local” literature.
13. Chiang kai Sheck, Madame. 1940. This is Our China. New York, Harper Brothers.
This is a hefty propaganda book by Soong Mei Ling about the efforts to Christianize China and save orphans. The book is really about squeezing aid from American taxpayers.
14. Chin, Ko-lin. 2003. Heijin: Organized Crime, Business and Politics in Taiwan. New York, M.E.Sharpe Publishing. ISBN 0-7656-1220-8
This is a very interesting book regarding the dirt under Taiwan’s fingernails. The author conducted interviews with heidao members, police, politicians and yakuza to write a detailed account of Taiwan’s struggle with and against organized crime.
15. Ching, Leo T.S. 2001. Becoming “Japanese”. Berkeley, University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22551-1
Becoming Japanese does not merely deal with the idea of Japanese colonization, but also explores the meaning of a constructed national identity. By reconstructing the Japanese assimilation programs, Ching demonstrates the transience of group identity.
Quote: “The call for a Taiwanese identity does not necessitate a rejection of a colonial Japanese identity. This interdependency is not surprising, given that the imaginable notion of “Taiwaneseness is a product of colonial modernity.
16. Chu, Jou-juo. 2001. Taiwan at the End of the 20th Century: The Gains and Losses. Taipei, Tonsan Publishing. ISBN 957-8221-73-8
Much of this book deals with the rise and fall of Big Labor in Taiwan. The most interesting chapter illustrates the rise of Taiwan as an economic “Tiger” has more to do with indigenous forces rather than KMT paternal guidance.
17. Clements, Jonathan. Pirate King: Coxinga and The Fall of the Ming Dynasty. 2004. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3269-4
Although the bulk of this book concerns events in 17th century China, the influence of Zheng Cheng Gong can not be denied in Taiwan. Clements writes a rip-roaring tale free of the political-historical narratives that have been leveraged by the PRC, ROC and Japan to better link the island of Taiwan to their respective governments. Clements writes intimate details of the characters in a way that brings Iquan, Peter Nyuts, Coxinga, Adam Schall and others to life in living color.
18. Cohen, Marc J. 1988. Taiwan At The Crossroads: Human Rights, Political Development and Social Change on the Beautiful Island. Asia Resource Center, Washington D.C.
Marc Cohen is the former editor of the Taiwan Communique and heavily involved in the advancement of human rights, so KMT apologists would not like this book, which details the human rights abuses commited under White Terror in KMT Taiwan. This book provides the grousome details of the successive Chiang regimes and dredges up skeletons from the KMT closet.
Quote: "On October 17, 1984 (Two days after the Liu murder), the key officials involved in censorship held a secret meeting. Those present included Chang Ching-yuh, The U.S. educated director of government information; James Soong, the KMT's Cultural Affairs chief; the Garrison Commander; the chiefs of the National Police Administration, the Investigation Bureau and the Political Warfare Department of the Defense Ministry; and the Deputy chief of the National Security Bureau. The first two officials,long considered liberals by Americansupporters of the KMT, appeared to take as hard line a stance on censorship as the security personnel.
An employee of the GIO later leaked the minutes of the meeting to the opposition press on Taiwan; he received a short jail term as a result. Although the government heavily censored those magazines which printed the minutes, they enjoyed wide underground circulation. Trhe London-based Index on Censorship printed a translation, along with a commentary by James Seymour, a leading US analyst of politics and human rights on Taiwan. Seymour's analysis and translation were reprinted in the record of a U.S. Congressional hearing...(In the minutes) The Garrison commander spoke of the need to 'suppress' what he called ' thought pollution' and referred to censorship as a form of 'warfare'. The minutes also portray government spokesman Chang as making repeated referenceto the ' illegal' and 'extremist' nature of the opposition press, and openly suggesting that the mere expression of an opinioncan, in and of itself, be illegal.In addition, his remarks clearly seemed to imply that the officials involved in censorship see no distinction between the party and the government.
The other 'liberal' at the meeting went even further, according to the minutes. He spoke not only of the 'control of culture', words used by the Garrison Commander as well, and of ' illegal opinions', but of 'the elimination of dissent'. Most significantly, both he and Chang pointed to the use of libel suits, brought ostensibly by private individuals, as the most appropriate way to attack the opposition press, since, in Soong's words the ' suits are a normal practice in democratic countries'.
19. Copper, John F. 2003. Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? Fourth Edition. Colorado, Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-4069-1
The author explores Taiwan’s sovereignty quandary and speculates on Taiwan’s future following the election of Chen Shuibian.
20. Corcuff, Stephane, ed. 2002. Memories of the Future: National Identity Issues and the Search for a New Taiwan. New York, M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0-7656-0792-1
Read This Book! Includes: The Taiwan Republic of 1895 and the Failure of the Qing Modernizing Project, The February 28 Incident and national Identity, Who Joined the Clandestine Political Organization?, Symbolic Dimension of Democratization and Transition of national Identity under Lee Teng Hui, Mirrors and Masks, The Evolution of Identity Issues in Democratizing Taiwan, National Identity and Ethnicity in Taiwan, Taiwan’s Mainlanders, Toward a Pragmatic Nationalism, The Political Formation of Taiwanese Nationalism. This is a fun book to read.
21. Crossley, Pamela Kyle. A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology. University of California Press, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
22. Davidson, James W. 1903. The Island of Formosa Past and Present. Macmillan and Co. New York. Reprinted by SMC Publishing 2005. ISBN 957-638-124-X
23. Dikotter, Frank. 1992. The Discourse of Race in Modern China. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA. ISBN 0-8047-2334-6
24. Dissanayake, Wimal, ed.1994. Colonialism and Nationalism in Asian Cinema. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-31804-1
25. Edmonds, Richard Louis. Goldstein, Steven M, ed. 2001.Taiwan in the Twentieth Century: A Retrospective View. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-003431
This is a valuable collection of works that appeared in the Cambridge China Quarterly. The subjects include: Aspects of the Taiwanese landscape in the 20th Century, Transforming Taiwan’s Economic Structure in the 20th Century, Taiwan in the 20th Century: Model or
Victim?, Taiwan’s Social Changes in the patterns of Social Solidarityin the 20th Century, Political Development in 20th Century Taiwan.: State Building, regime Transformation and the Construction of National Identity, Taiwan in Japan’s Security Considerations, An Uncertain Relationship: The United States, Taiwan and the Taiwan Relations Act, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
26. Egerod, Soren. 1980. Atayal-English Dictionary Vol. I and II. Curzon Press Ltd, London. ISBN 0-7007-0117-6
27. Eyton, Lawrence. 2004. Shattering The Myths: Taiwanese identity and the legacy of KMT Colonialism. Taipei, Yu Shan Press. ISBN 986-7819-57-8
Eyton is Eyton. Enough said.
28. Faure, David, ed. 2001. In Search of the Hunters and Their Tribes. Taipei, Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines Publishing. ISBN 957-30287-0-0
A very good selections of anthropological essays.
Quote: “ In January 1946 the government renamed the earlier Formosan Education Centers run by the Japanese police and called them primary schools. Their previous curriculum was abolished and replaced with one emphasizing Chinese language, history, and citizenship. The aim of the new curriculum was to eradicate the effects of Japanese assimilation and military training. In a 1953 government report on the administration of mountain areas it was reported from 1947 the aims of education in indigenous communities had been : 1) to promote Mandarin to strengthen a national outlook, 2) to teach production skills to create an economic outlook, 3) to emphasize hygiene to create good customs….’”to make the mountains like the plains”.
29. Gold, Thomas B. 1986. State and Society in the Taiwan Miracle. New York, M.E. Sharpe, Inc. ISBN 0-87332-399-8
A great book for understanding the dynamism of the Taiwan economic miracle. Gold demonstrates Taiwan's unique situation that laid the groundwork for the economic boom of the 80's and 90's.
30. Harrell, Stevan & Huang Chun-chieh, ed. 1994, Cultural Change in Postwar Taiwan. Westview Press Inc. ISBN 957-638-257-2
This is a groundbreaking compilation of essays regarding Taiwan's cultural change following the end of the Japanese era. Many of the questions of "culture" or "Culture" that are addressed in this volume are still being discussed today as Taiwan forges a new cultural understanding of Taiwan and Taiwaneseness. This book takes a thoughtful read to understand the definitions of culture the authors use to frame their studies, but anyone who would like to discuss Taiwanese culture should read this book. Essays include: Feminism, Painting, eco/ethnic tourism, commercial and popular religion, Confucianism and the New Life Movement, poetry, self-identification, nationalization of culture and a move from radical conservatism to liberalism of culture. READ IT!!
31. Harrell, Stevan, ed. 1995. Cultural Encounters on China’s Ethnic Frontiers. University of Washington Press, USA. ISBN 0-295-97528-8
32. Harrison, Henrietta, ed. 2001. Natives of Formosa: British Reports of the Taiwan Indigenous People, 1650-1950. Taipei, Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines Publishing. ISBN 957-99767-9-1
Interesting accounts from the British.
33. Hsiau, A-chin. 2000. Contemporary Taiwanese Cultural Nationalism. London, Routledge Press. ISBN 0-415-22648-1
A hard hitting tome on the development of Taiwanese Nationalism and the viability of a Taiwanese identity. Hsiau outlines and details many modern concepts of nationhood and emphasizes the importance of literature in the process of nation building. This is a very important book to read for those interested in political science and identity research.
34. Hsu, Mutsu, 1991, Culture, Self and Adaptation: The Psychological Anthropology of Two Malayo-Polynesian Groups in Taiwan. Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. ISBN 957-9046-78-6.
This is a very interesting study, which highlights the contrasts between a Seediq community and and Amis community in Hualian and how both communities deal with the Taiwanese mainstream culture based on a traditional understanding of community. Hsu's study investigates the role traditional culture plays in social relations, crime, suicide, economy, education and adaptation.
35. Jordan, David K. Morris, Andrew D. Moskowitz, Marc L, ed. 2004. The Minor Arts of Daily Life: Popular Culture in Taiwan. Honolulu ,University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2800-3
This book includes Taiwan’s History, Religion and Ritual, Fowl Play, Pop in Hell, An Emerging Public Sphere From Hidden Kingdom to Rainbow Community, Taiwan’s mass Mediated Crisis Discourse, The Other Woman in Your Home, Hot and Noisy, Disciplined Bodies in Direct Selling, Baseball History, Yang- Sucking She-Demons. This is a fun book on some interesting subjects. The baseball, religion and gay segments are especially informative.
36. Ka, Chih-Ming. 1995. Japanese Colonialism in Taiwan: Land Tenure, Development and Dependency, 1895-1945. Colorado, Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3637-6
This is an excellently researched history of Taiwanese agrarian development, imperialism and enterprise.
37. Katz, Paul. 2005. When Valleys Turned Blood Red: The Ta-Pa-Ni Incident in Colonial Taiwan. Hawaii, University of Hawai’i Press. ISBN 0-8248-2915-8
38. Keliher, Macabe.2003. Out of China or Yu Yonghe’s Tales of Formosa. Taipei, SMC Publishing. ISBN 9570-638-609-8
As the title suggests, this book is about the mysterious Yu Yonghe’s adventures leaving China for the sulfur pits run by the Ketagalon of Beitou. Following an explosion at the Fu Zhou armory, China needs sulfur for gunpowder. In 1696,Yu volunteers for the adventure to bring gunpowder back to China and takes notes on the foreign land of Taiwan.
39. Kerr, George H. 1965. Formosa Betrayed. London, Eyre and Spottiswood Publishers.
This is one of the single most important books you can read about Taiwan. Kerr, a US representative in postwar Taiwan, relies on his research and the research of Alan Shackleton to create a description of what went wrong after 1945. Kerr was an eye witness to 228 and paints a very somber picture of the era. Please read this book and recommend it to your Taiwanese friends.
40. Kleeman, Faye Yuan. 2003. Under An Imperial Sun: Japanese Colonial Literature of Taiwan and the South. University of Hawai’i Press, Hawai’i. ISBN 0-8248-2592-6
41. Knapp, Ronald G, ed. 1980. China’s Island Frontier: Studies in the Historical Geography of Taiwan. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 957-638-334-X
Although dated, this volume compiles some very interesting essays regarding Taiwan’s past as a frontier. Topics include: From Aboriginal Land to Chinese Frontier, Cultural Contact and the migration of Taiwan’s Aborigines, Settlement and Frontier Land Tenure, The Chinese Settlement of the Iilan Plain, Frontier Social Organization and Social Disorder in Ch’ing Taiwan, Sequent Occupance and Place Names, Walled Cities and Towns in Taiwan, Lukang: A City and its Trading System, The Development and Structure of Transportation Networks in Taiwan: 1600-1972, Push Car railways and Taiwan’s Development, Sugar: The Sweetener in Taiwan’s Development.
42. Kuo, Jason C. 2000. Art and Cultural Politics in Postwar Taiwan. Taipei, SMC Publishing. ISBN 957-638-546-6
An interesting book, but could use a revision.
43. Lee, Ming Yung. 2001, If You Ask. Miss K Literary Foundation. ISBN 957-607-692-7
Lee Ming Yung is the president of the highly influential Taiwan PEN association, as association of Taiwanese writers who have brought the discussion of language and nationality to the fore of Taiwan consciousness. This is a book of Lee’s poetry.
44. Lee, Ta Wei David. 2000. The making of the Taiwan Relations Act: Twenty Years in Retrospect. London, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-592209-3
If you recognize the name as Taiwan’s new representative to the US, you’re right. David Lee writes a fantastic history of the TRA in living detail. Reading this book sheds sheds light on the nuances of diplomacy and on the reality that the US recognizes Taiwan as a separate, independent entity form China.
45. Lee, Wei-Chin, ed. 2000. International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology: Taiwan In Perspective. Leiden, Koninklijke Brill NV, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-04-11849-7
46. Li, Paul Jen-Kuei and Tsuchida, Shigeru. 2002. Pazih Texts and Songs. Institute of Linguistics Preparatory Office, Academia Sinica. ISBN 957-671-888-0
This is a great book with two CDs. Mr. Li has worked hard to understand a language at the edge of extinction. There is currently an effort being made in Puli to revive the Pazih language, but Ms. Pan Jin Yu, one of the featured singers, is 92 years old and the last fluent speaker of Pazih.
Fact: Ms. Pan remembers Dr. Mackay as her childhood doctor.
47. Li, Paul Jen-Kuei & Tsuchida Shigeru. 2001. Pazih Dictionary. Academia Sinica Institute of Linguistics, Taipei, Taiwan. ISBN 957-671-790-6
For anyone interested in the Pazih language this dictionary is essential. There is only one fluent speaker left in Puli, but the language is being taught to some children in AiLan (Puli). This book is most valuable in desciphering place names in the Taichung area, but doing so takes an understanding of Taiwanese as well.
48. Mackay, George L. 1896. From Far Formosa. London, Oliphant Anderson and Ferrier, Reprinted 1991,1998, SMC Publishing, Taipei. ISBN 957-638-072-3
Mackay details life in the Taipei basin and other parts in Taiwan during the last two decades of Qing rule as he attempts to establish a Presbytarian enclave in northern Taiwan. Again, a man of his time.
49. Matteo, Jose E.B. 2002. Spaniards in Taiwan Vol. I & Vol. II. Taipei, SMC Publishing. ISBN 957-638-566-0 & ISBN 957-638-589-X
A collection of Spanish documents regarding their conquest of northern Taiwan. The documents deal with Senar aborigines, fort building and Gonzalo Portillo’s surrender of Keelung (Jilong) to the Dutch. Great series.
50. Mendel, Douglas. 1970. The Politics of Formosa Nationalism. Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, Ltd. ISBN 520-01557-6
This is one of the first books to pose the question of Formosan nationalism to foreign scholars. Mendel frames the problems and the facts of the tripartite China-Taiwan-USA relationship and exposes the propaganda for what it is.
51. Meskill, Johanna Menzel. 1979. A Chinese Pioneer Family: The Lins of Wu-Feng, Taiwan 1729-1895. Princeton University Press, Princeton New Jersey,
This is one of the basic starting points for the study of anthropology in Taiwan. The book is slightly dated by newer research, but still introduces many insights on Taiwan’s frontier development and the narratives of power relations in Taiwan.
52. Montgomery-McGovern, Janet B. 1922. Among the Head-Hunters of Formosa. Boston, Small Maynard and Co. Reprinted 1997, SMC Publishing, Taipei. ISBN 257-638-421-4
J.B. Montgomery represents the beginning of the modern anthropologists and writes an interesting, non-judgmental account of her fieldwork in Taiwan. Many of her observations became the groundwork on which modern aboriginal studies are based. Her records of pre-subjugated tribes are a priceless treasure to Taiwans’ history.
Quote: “ It may be true, as Dr. Taylor-in Primitive Culture-points out, that “no human thought is so primitive as to have lost bearing on our own thought, or so ancient as to have broken connection with our own life…For one thing, as to what would have been the line of social evolution of the so-called superior races had they, like the seban, continued to regard the cutting off of an enemy head as meritorious rather than otherwise. (Yet what is war between “civilized” races, except head-hunting on a grand scale; only with accompanied mangling and gassing and the horrors of which the island seban knows nothing.
53. Norman, Jerry. 1988. Chinese. Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, Cambridge, Tenth Printing 2004. ISBN 0-521-29653-6
This is a fantastic book on the development of sinitic languages from ancient to classical to modern. Jerry Norman served as the head of the Asian Languages Dept. at the University of Washington until his retirement in 1998 and in this book he creates an image of sinitic languages that is both easy to understand and informative. I bought this book for the work on Min, Hakka and Taiwanese languages. One detail Norman adds is the disparity between Hakka scholastic tradition and linguistic studies on Taiwan. Norman declares that, despite many attempts by Hakka scholars in Taiwan to cast the Hakka as a northern ethnic group that migrated south, there is little evidence to support that theory and the Hakka, share a linguistic association to both the Min and Yue languages. The Hakka of Taiwan, though, may be ethnic Shi people, who adopted Hakka languages later.
54. Peng, Min-ming.1972. A Taste of Freedom: Memoirs of a Formosan Independence Leader. New York, Holt, Reinhart and Winston ISBN 0-03-091388-8
Peng Min-ming has been an influential figure in the Taiwan independence advocacy community. Peng was a dissednet for many years and a founding member of FAPA. This work describes Peng’s life as a Japanese-Formosan and as a disillusioned young man in KMT Taiwan.
55. Phillips, Steven E. 2003. Between Assimilation and Independence: The Taiwanese Encounter With Nationalist China 1945-1950. California, Stanford University Press, ISBN-0-8047-4457-2
Phillips focuses his survey on the views of the Taiwanese elite during the period immediately following the Japanese surrender. This book makes a clearly non-politicized study of Taiwanese aspirations for self-rule and their desire to determine their relationship with the R.O.C. Due to the recent liberalization of the Taiwanese academic establishment, Phillips uses recently released documents, letters and diaries to illuminate how the elite was drawn into a struggle against the KMT's vision for Taiwan. One of the most interesting discoveries made by Phillips is that the 228 uprising was not led and encouraged by the elite, but was rather a popular rebellion that the elite attempted to mediate. Fantastic book!
56. Pickering, W.A. 1898. Pioneering In Formosa. London, Hurst and Blackett, Republished 1993, Taipei, SMC Publishing. ISBN 957-638-163-0:
A fun romp through 19th Century Taiwan with an energetic Scotsman. Pickering traveled and took notes on life in Taiwan and especially took an interest in aboriginal life. The reader must understand Pickering was the product of very Victorian times.
Quote: “The first playthings put into the hands of a savage boy are a wooden knife and a gun or bow and arrow. With these toys they play at lying in ambush or taking heads….My clerk Ah-san, upon seeing this mimetic comedy, expressed so much horror, with a terrified face, that some of the more mischievous boys delighted to summon him, and, pointing to his head, to make signs of beheading him, just to increase his peace of mind.”
57. Purdue. Peter C. 2005. China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia. Cambridge, Harvord University Press, MA. ISBN 0-674-01684-X
58. Rawnsley, Gary D. 2000. Taiwan’s Informal Diplomacy and Propaganda. London, Macmillan Press Ltd. ISBN 0-333-75119-1
This is an eye-opening book regarding the ROC’s efforts to legitimize the existence of a single party KMT government and retain the China seat in the UN. Rawnsley covers the GIO, The Love Boat and Jason Hu’s Dollar Diplomacy.
Quote: “…Lung-Chin Chen has been critical of such names. Referring specifically to the R.O.C.’s Mission in Korea , Chen writes: Using Taipei instead of Taiwan is another example of the KMT regime’s act of self-contempt, lacking the courage and self-respect to call Taiwan “Taiwan”.’ The confusion has seeped into international broadcasts of radio Free China. Scripts for news reports following the death of Deng Xiaoping were edited by hand to read ROC rather than Taiwan or Taiwanese, and the word “mainland” was added to precede “China” . The wheels of diplomacy frequently turn on such subtleties.
59. Roy, Denny. 2003. Taiwan: A Political History. Cornell, Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-4070-X
This is a great introduction to Taiwanese politics. Denny Roy includes many of the details that make history fun. Nuclear Weapons and intregue.
Quote: “Having settled in prime opium-producing land within the Golden Triangle, the expatriate Chinese harnesses the local narcotics industry as a means of funding their guerilla war. Drug trafficking continued to thrive after the fighting died out, and these KMT loyalist communities now help supply the world with opium and its derivatives.”
60. Rubinstein, Murray A, ed. 1999. Taiwan: A New History. New York, M.E. Sharpe, Inc. ISBN 1-56324-816-6
This is a modern compilation of essays on Taiwan’s History from the standpoint of Taiwan as a center rather than a periphery. Topics include: The Shaping of Taiwan’s Landscapes, The Politics of Taiwan’s Aboriginal Origins, Up the Mountain and Out to the Sea: Expansion of the Fukienese in the Late Ming Period, The Seventeenth Century Transformation: Taiwan Under the Dutchand Cheng regimes, The Island Frontier of the Ch’ing, From Landlords to Local Strongmen, From Treaty Ports to Provincial Status, Taiwan Under Japanese Rule, 1895-1945, Taiwanese New Literature and the Colonial Context, Between Assimilation and Independence, A Bastian Created, Identity and Social Change in Taiwanese religion, Taiwan’s Socioeconomic Modernization, Literature in Post 1949 Taiwan, Aboriginal Self-Government, Political Taiwanization and Pragmatic Diplomacy.
61. Rutter, Owen. 1923. Through Formosa: An Account of Japan’s Island Colony. London, T. Fisher Unwin Ltd. Freprinted 1990, 1995, SMC Publishing, Taipei. ISBN 957-9482-15-2
Owen Rutter took a rare whirlwind tour through Taiwan at the beginning of Japanese rule. Rutter’s writing would be a simple travelogue if it weren’t for the curious attention the Japanese administration spent on showing him their best side. Any scholar of Taiwan should read this book to understand Japan’s propaganda goals for Taiwan and how the Japanese wished to be portrayed to the rest of the world. A type of colonist insecurity bleeds through the Japanese pomp and circumstance.
62. Seagrave, Sterling. 1985.The Soong Dynasty. Sidgewick and Jackson Publishing, ISBN 0-552-14108-9
The Soong Dynasty has risen to the ranks of a “Must Read” book for those interested in the shadowy ways the KMT gained power and lost China. This book sheds light on how the KMT operated and gleams light into the workings of Chiang Kai Sheck. Another KMT hater. Good Fun!
63. Shepherd, John Robert. 1995. Marriage and Mandatory Abortion among the 17th Century Siraya. The American Anthropological Association, Arlington VA.
This is a tremendous contribution to anthropological studies in Taiwan. John Shepherd makes a very strong discursive case for understanding the effects of mandatory abortion in Sirayan society and lays the groundwork for the study of population growth in Qing era Taiwan.
64. Shepherd, John R. 1993. Statecraft and Political Economy on the Taiwan Frontier, 1600-1800. California, Leland Stanford University Press. Reprinted 1995, SMC Publishing, Taipei. ISBN 957-638-311-0
This is one of the most essential books for understanding Taiwan’s history. Shepherd digs deep and uncovers and illustrates the degree in which the Qing relied on aborigines to administer policy in Taiwan. Much of the book deals with land tenure and large land rights. You do not know Taiwan until you have read this book.
Quote: “In a sellers market, aborigine women found themselves highly valued. Chinese settlers began to outbid aborigine men in the competition for wives. Both aborigine women and their enterprising parents saw potential advantages in the greater wealth and higher status a Chinese man would bring to marriage…an aborigine bride need not fear a domineering mother in law.
65. Skoggard, Ian A. 1996. The Indigenous Dynamic in Taiwan’s Postwar Development: The Religious and Historical Roots of Entrepreneurship. New York, M.E. Sharp Publishing. ISBN 1-56324-846-8
Every Living Room is a Factory! The slogan from the 1960’s is explained in Skoggard’s book. Skoggard adroitly demonstrates how Taiwanese led the charge from rural farmers to owners of small to medium size enterprises. What Skoggard does not do is link the circumstances of the 1945 farmer to Qing land tenure rights and aboriginal ownership of large rents.
66. Sneider, Verne. 1953. A Pail of Oysters. New York, Putnam’s Sons Publishing.
This is a fictional story, but the tale might as well be real to a Taiwanese. The story starts in near Lukang when KMT soldiers steal the god from a family and he is sent to bring it back. Much of the story focuses around an American newsman stationed in Taipei and how he learns Nationalist Taiwan is not what it seems. The true story behind the fiction is that Sneider met Ed Paine, an eye witness to the 228 massacre and Paine hooked Sneider up with his interpreter. The history is fuzzy, the places are not where they should be, but the story is more an allegory of 50’s Taipei with the dreaded race track and deaths. This book is now considered rare following years of KMT student spies stealing it from libraries.
67. Spence, Jonathan D. 1999, 1990. The Search for Modern China. London; New York W.W. Norton and Co. ISBN 0-393-97351-4
No, not Tom Jones’ arranger, but the legendary China scholar. A bit of background into that neighboring country.
68. Taylor, George. Ed. Dudbridge, Glen. 1999. Aborigines of South Taiwan in the 1880s. Taipei, Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines Publishing. ISBN 957-99767-1-6
Accounts from The lighthouse in Kenting (Kending) by the first lighthouse keeper, George Taylor. An interesting fact: The Ou Luan Pi point was bought for $100 from the Paiwan.
69. Teng, Emma Jinhuang. 2004. Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, ISBN 0-674-01451-0
This book acts as a companion to John Shepherd’s Statecraft and Political Economy on the Taiwan Frontier. Teng uses imperial edicts and maps to demonstrate how Taiwan’s temporal location in the Chinese mind has shifted from “beyond the pale” to “sacred territory”. Teng’s research is extremely important in understanding the importance of the imagination in nationalism.
70. Tuchman, Barbara W. 1971. Stilwell: The American Experience in China 1911-1945, New York. Bantam Publishing.
Tuchman combines historical notes with notes from Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell’s own diaries to create a detailed review of the war in China during WWII. Tuchman has been criticized as a “KMT hater”, but she makes a good case and writes an entertaining history of Stilwell’s pains in China.
71. Wachman, Alan M. 1994. Taiwan: National Identity and Democratization. New York, M.E. Sharpe, Inc. ISBN 1-56324-399-7
72. White, Theodore & Jacoby, Annalee. 1946. Thunder out of China. New York, William Sloane Publishing.
Theodore White was a Time magazine correspondent in the CBI during WWII. White’s book is a serious condemnation of the Chiang regime and a greater condemnation of US policy that fails to reach out to the Communists due to the fear of a Chinese civil war and Lend Lease guarantees.
Quote: “No one knows how many positions Chiang kai Sheck held during the war years. At one time his secretary said there were at least eighty-two: he imagined a complete list could be found somewhere, but he had never compiled one. The Ministry of Information made up an incomplete list, which stated that among other things Chaing kai sheck was: Chief Executive of the Kuomintang; President of the National Government; Chairman of the National Military Council; Commander in Chief of land, naval and air forces; Supreme Commander of the China Theater; President of the State Council; Chairman of the Supreme national Defense Council; Director General of the Central Planning Board; Chairman of the Political Work Evaluation Committee; Director of the new Life Movement Association; Chairman of the Commission of Inauguration of Constitutional Government; President of the Central Training Corps.; President of the School for Descendants of Revolutionary Martyrs; President of the National Glider association.
73. Wilson, Richard W. 1970. Learning To Be Chinese:The Political Socialization of Children in Taiwan. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
This is a detailed and sometimes chilling study of the KMT's efforts to nationalize children and support KMT/ROC ideology. The author uses interviews with children between first and sixth grade to elucidate the effects of the socialization process. Often, he employs a method using undefined pictures of social scenes to draw responses from school children.
Quote:" In elementary school the flag is introduced into textbooks and is on the cover of the readers the children use from first through fourth grade, waving over a group of playing children. Such insertions of national symbols are by no means accidental or merely decorative; educational authorities told me that these insertions were made with definite intention of familiarizing children with an appropriate symbol for the country...In Kindergarten children begin to hear 'We are Chinese and we all love China. Our China's territory is the largest, the population the greatest, and our products the most abundant.'...A sign in the T'ao Yuan local government office, for instance, requests the local people to speak Mandarin, for, 'To speak Mandarin expresses love for the country'.
Interview:Q: Do you think the policeman is always right?
Q: Is there any time when he does something wrong?
Q: Is their any time when your Daddy, mommy or teacher make mistakes?
Q: What happens if a policman makes a mistake?
A: Someone higher up will arrest him and kill him
Q: Can we criticize a policeman?
A: No, we must say he is good. If we say he is bad, we'll be arrested.
(Shift to a meeting scene with authority figure at podium)
Q: Who is the person up there?
A: He is a great person
Q: Why can he be a great person?
A: He is a person who shoots a gun and fights with the Father of our Country (appears he means CKS)
Q: When he speaks will everyone down below obey him?
A: Yes, they will obey him. Not to obey wouldn't be right.
Q: What happens if they don't obey?
A: They will be arrested by the great man.
74. Wolf, Margery. 1968. The House of Lim: A Study of A Chinese Farm Family. New Jersey, Prentice hall Inc. ISBN 0-13-394973-7
If you are interested in genealogy and anthropology, this work from the heart of the martial law era is an interesting study.
75. Yosaburo Takekoshi. 1907. Japanese Rule in Formosa. London, Longmans, Green and Co. Reprinted 1996, SMC Publishing, Taipei. ISBN 957-638-378-1
With a preface by Goto Shimpei, this book explains Japan’s hopes for colonizing Taiwan and the reader is free to interpret Japan’s future aggression through the subtleties of Japan’s colonial plan. Much of the information is based on Qing records and Japanese understanding of the time.
76. Yu, Henry.2001. Thinking Orientals: Migration, Contact and Exoticism in Modern America. New York, Oxford University Press, NY. ISBN 0-19-511660-7