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Primary Sources: History of Taiwan

Great collection of Taiwanese history links. Enjoy!

This page is part of a collection assembling links to historical primary sources that are open on the web. It should be seen as a work in progress, and corrections or suggestions for additions are most welcome. These resources may be especially useful to students studying Taiwanese history who are looking for inspiration and primary sources for use in their essays who a) are limited to the English language (though some Chinese language sources will also be listed below too) b) lack access to subscription databases that universities with strong East Asia collections may offer, and c) are in lockdown due to a global pandemic.

#History #Taiwan #links

Taipei: City of Displacements by Joseph R. Allen

An exploration of the city of Taipei and the transformation of it's public art, maps, and parks as it has been colonized by the Qing, the Dutch, the Japanese, and the KMT. It was a good read, but this is a very specialized subject that will be inaccessible to most people unless they are familiar with the history of Taiwan and Taipei. This books gives you a glimpse of the amazing place that Taiwan due to (or in spite of) it's tumultuous history.

I wish this book went deeper into the effects of colonialism on Taiwan but the scholarship into this topic seems to have just begun. The archives on Taiwanese history have been closed for many years during the martial law period and the people here are still coming to grips with their past.

I bought this book from SMC Publishing Inc 南天書局有限公司, a local publisher of academic books. They have many other great books on Taiwanese history, and even old maps.

Rating: ★★★★ Book #41 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge

#Books #BookReview #JosephRAllen #Taipei #Taiwan

The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan's Defense and American Strategy in Asia by Ian Easton

A well-researched, look at PLA strategies that may be used against Taiwan, and ways Taiwan has planned to repel the invaders. Of course, many of the exact plans are unknown, but by reading PLA strategy manuals, Easton gives us the popular thoughts and attitudes on a possible invasion against Taiwan. There is also a chapter on America's strategy in Asia.


Taiwan Readers Meetup Group

Welcome to the group!

We are a group of readers living in Taiwan, expats and locals, who love to come together over coffee or a meal to discuss books, reading, and whatever else is on our minds.

We also talk about books on the LINE group. Anybody can suggest a time/place to meet and organize a meetup as there is no designated 'leader' of the group. The group meets around Taipei and New Taipei city about once a month.

Some people also use the meetings as an opportunity to trade, sell, or give books to each other. It's best to discuss these exchanges, in private, before the meetup.

Rules of the Group

Please Do...

  • Introduce yourself!
  • Talk about books you're reading!
  • Share book news!
  • Talk about book awards!
  • Show respect to all members.

Please Don't...

  • Private message people!*
  • Spam the group
  • Discuss politics/religion (a little is OK!)

I created this book group to meet more people living in Taiwan who like books.

How to join the group?

Click this link to find the joining link: and then introduce yourself!

We look forward to expanding our circle of bookish friends.

Taiwan Readers GoodReads Group Where to Buy Books in Taipei Taipei International Book Exhibition Big Bad Wolf Book Sale

* If you join the group and immediately bother people in private messages you will be deleted, blocked, and reported for sexual harassment immediately. This is your only warning. This type of behaviour is unwanted in this group. If you don't know group members, do not start messaging them in private chats. Keep the conversation on the main group until you've met them in person. This isn't Tinder. Thank you!

#TaiwanReaders #books #Taiwan

This is a beautifully illustrated, clear, concise overview of the tumultuous history the country of Taiwan has experienced. Don't be scared off by the page length of 469 pages as you will be delighted to know that almost every page has a photo on it. The photos are well chosen and give you an anchorpoint for the history you are reading about. It makes the history come alive on the pages.


Another book for the tireless Taiwan-advocate, Mr. Keating. This book is a collection of essays that are supposedly about Taiwan's 'identity' but seem more of a hodgepodge of topics to me. I was greatly underwhelmed with this book, although it did have some very funny illustrations.