Shavit’s historical dictionary addresses the critical need in academic libraries for reference sources that provide undergraduate and beginning graduate students of American foreign policy with introductory information on the persons, events, and institutions that have influenced US relations with other nations. . . . a useful dictionary. Choice
Contact between the United States and Asia began in the 17th century when several Americans went to India as employees of the East India company. A myriad of sea captains and merchants, missionaries, consuls and diplomats, travelers, journalists, businessmen, engineers, naturalists, educators, and authors and artists followed, establishing a gamut of relationships between the United States and Asia. This volume provides, in alphabetical format, information about those individuals, institutions, and events that most affected the relationships between the United States and Asia. The dictionary focuses on individuals who contributed in a significant way to U.S.-Asian relations, especially those who left a written record of their experiences. The book covers all countries of Asia, except those of the Middle East, which are in a separate volume by Shavit.
Shavit has succeeded in making the information highly accessible as well as comprehensive. The front matter includes a list of abbreviations, place names, and a chronology. A short introduction then leads into the dictionary itself. References at the end of each entry note whether the subject is covered in general biographical dictionaries and list books and articles on the subject. A system of asterisks cross-references people, events, and institutions that have their own entries in the dictionary. Two appendixes–a list of the chiefs of American diplomatic missions to Asia from 1843 to 1989, and a list of individuals organized by profession and occupation–are added handy reference materials. A bibliographical essay and index complete the book. This impressive new historical dictionary is a useful reference guide for any student of American relations with Asia.