Praised for its scope and depth, Asia in the Making of Europe is the first comprehensive study of Asian influences on Western culture. For volumes I and II, the author has sifted through virtually every European reference to Asia published in the sixteenth-century; he surveys a vast array of writings describing Asian life and society, the images of Asia that emerge from those writings, and, in turn, the reflections of those images in European literature and art. This monumental achievement reveals profound and pervasive influences of Asian societies on developing Western culture; in doing so, it provides a perspective necessary for a balanced view of world history.
Volume I: The Century of Discovery brings together "everything that a European could know of India, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan, from printed books, missionary reports, traders' accounts and maps" (The New York Review of Books). Volume II: A Century of Wonder examines the influence of that vast new body of information about Asia on the arts, institutions, literatures, and ideas of sixteenth-century Europe.