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Topics in Premodern Japanese History is intended to differ from a typical commercial textbook in several key respects. First, this book is designed to fit perfectly with HIST 174 at PSU. It should greatly reduce the need for taking notes and the usual anxieties about what information is of greater or lesser importance in the...
Topics in Premodern Japanese History is intended to differ from a typical commercial textbook in several key respects. First, this book is designed to fit perfectly with HIST 174 at PSU. It should greatly reduce the need for taking notes and the usual anxieties about what information is of greater or lesser importance in the course. In terms of its approach to the subject matter, Topics in Premodern Japanese History emphasizes a succession of topics rather than strict adherence to the flow of time. In a general way, the chapters move from earlier periods of time to later periods of time, but their content and organization gives top priority to coverage of topics. These topics, while important and, hopefully, interesting are but a small subset of the content of Japanese history. Others putting together a book like this might select a significantly different set of topics. While the "mainstream" narrative of politics and institutions is present in these pages, the emphasis is on social and cultural history wherever possible.
More generally, a goal of this book and the course as a whole is to encourage broad, integrative thinking about history and human affairs.