The essays in this book add significantly to the scholarship on East and Southeast Asian history, and in particular to the maritime history of the region we call the Greater China Seas. This is the first book to analyze the whole region from Japan to Southeast Asia as a single, integrated historical and geographical area. This book takes a radical departure from the standard terra-centered histories to place the seas at the center rather than at the margins of our inquiries. By focusing on the water we are better able to stitch together the diverse histories of Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. Although often dismissed as historically unimportant, the contributors to this anthology show that in fact pirates and smugglers have played significant roles in the development of the modern world.
Elusive Pirates, Pervasive Smugglers should appeal to undergraduate and graduate students in history and Asian studies, as well as to general readers interested in pirates and maritime history.
"This is an impressive volume on a subject that never seems to go away — six hundred years’ history of piracy and smuggling in the Greater China Seas. It is important reading for anyone fascinated by Asia’s rich and complex maritime history." — Mark R. Frost, author of Singapore: A Biography