Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Wars for Asia, 1911–1949

$32.95 (G)

  • Date Published: August 2012
  • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from TBC
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107020696

$ 32.95 (G)

Temporarily unavailable - available from TBC
Notify me when available Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The Wars for Asia, 1911–1949 shows that the Western treatment of World War II, the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the Chinese Civil War as separate events misrepresents their overlapping connections and causes. The long Chinese Civil War precipitated a long regional war between China and Japan that went global in 1941 when the Chinese found themselves fighting a civil war within a regional war within an overarching global war. The global war that consumed Western attentions resulted from Japan's peripheral strategy to cut foreign aid to China by attacking Pearl Harbor and Western interests throughout the Pacific on December 7–8, 1941. S. C. M. Paine emphasizes the fears and ambitions of Japan, China, and Russia, and the pivotal decisions that set them on a collision course in the 1920s and 1930s. The resulting wars – the Chinese Civil War (1911–1949), the Second Sino-Japanese War (1931–1945), and World War II (1939–1945) – together yielded a viscerally anti-Japanese and unified Communist China, the still-angry rising power of the early twenty-first century. While these events are history in the West, they live on in Japan and especially China.

    • The author combines the methodology for studying grand strategy taught at the US Naval War College with knowledge accumulated over eight years of research abroad
    • Relies on sources not only in English, but also in Chinese, Japanese and Russian
    • Challenges the Western treatment of World War II, the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War as separate events
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Paine's study offers new perspectives on imperialist wars and interventions in twentieth-century Asia. Based on multi-archival research, it addresses a range of issues in the fraught relations of Japan, China, Russia, and the United States. Students of comparative history will find Paine's analytical framing particularly interesting."
    Herbert P. Bix, Binghamton University

    "The author has written a highly original and provocative work, organized around the thesis that 'nested' civil, regional, and international wars defined East Asian politics and international relations over the first half of the twentieth century. By artful use of the latest Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and US primary and secondary sources, Professor Paine succeeds in showing how war changed the face of East Asia."
    Stephen R. MacKinnon, Arizona State University

    "The first integrated study of Asia's forty years of war. A major intellectual contribution."
    Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations, University of Pennsylvania

    "Paine has written a fascinating account of how modern East Asia was shaped by war. By disaggregating the three main wars in the first half of the twentieth century, [she] succeeds in showing how their causes and conditions were linked but still separate."
    O. A. Westad, author of Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750

    "This excellent and ambitious book deals with state-building and warfare in twentieth-century Asia. It underlines the critical role of war in modern Asian history and shows how often war trumped diplomacy. It shows too the terrible toll that warfare has exacted on China, Japan, and Russia. Paine gives an original, perceptive, and long-overdue reinterpretation of twentieth-century Asia."
    Diana Lary, author of The Chinese People at War

    "… an unsparing, surprisingly even and altogether enjoyable effort that truly deserves to be read widely by academics and policymakers who seek to make sense of the dangerous future that may lie ahead of us in Asia, thanks in great part to wars of the past."
    J. Michael Cole, Taipei Times

    "… Paine's book provides us with an important tool through which we can learn the lessons of the past. This in turn will hopefully allow us to plot a safer course in order to avoid any future wars for Asia."
    Tosh Minohara, Pacific Affairs

    "An excellent one-volume survey of Chinese military history in the first half of the twentieth century, The Wars for Asia, 1911–1949 will be of value to anyone interested in World War II and particularly the causes of the Pacific War."
    A. A. Nofi, Editor, The NYMAS Review


    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107020696
    • length: 498 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 161 x 33 mm
    • weight: 0.81kg
    • contains: 6 maps
    • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from TBC
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Fear and Ambition: Japan, China, and Russia:
    1. Introduction: the Asian roots of World War II
    2. Japan 1931–6: the containment of Russia and national restoration
    3. China 1926–36: chaos and the quest for the mandate of heaven
    4. Russia 1917–36: impending two-front war and world revolution
    Part II. Nested Wars: A Civil War within a Regional War within a Global War:
    5. Flashback to 1911 and the beginning of the long Chinese Civil War
    6. The regional war: the Second Sino-Japanese War
    7. The global war: World War I
    8. The final act of the long Chinese Civil War
    9. Conclusion: civil war as the prologue and epilogue to regional and global wars.

  • Author

    S. C. M. Paine, Naval War College
    S. C. M. Paine is Professor of Strategy and Policy at the United States Naval War College. Paine is the author of Nation Building, State Building, and Economic Development (2010), The Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895 (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Imperial Rivals: China, Russia, and their Disputed Frontier (1996). She co-authored Modern China: Continuity and Change, 1644 to the Present (2010) and co-edited Naval Power and Expeditionary Warfare (2011), Naval Coalition Warfare (2008) and Naval Blockades and Seapower (2006).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.