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Lost Colony:
The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West
Tonio Andrade

Paperback | 2013 | $24.95 | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780691159577
448 pp. | 5 3/4 x 9 | 9 halftones. 6 line illus. 10 maps.
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During the seventeenth century, Holland created the world's most dynamic colonial empire, outcompeting the British and capturing Spanish and Portuguese colonies. Yet, in the Sino-Dutch War--Europe's first war with China--the Dutch met their match in a colorful Chinese warlord named Koxinga. Part samurai, part pirate, he led his generals to victory over the Dutch and captured one of their largest and richest colonies--Taiwan. How did he do it? Examining the strengths and weaknesses of European and Chinese military techniques during the period, Lost Colony provides a balanced new perspective on long-held assumptions about Western power, Chinese might, and the nature of war.

It has traditionally been asserted that Europeans of the era possessed more advanced science, technology, and political structures than their Eastern counterparts, but historians have recently contested this view, arguing that many parts of Asia developed on pace with Europe until 1800. While Lost Colony shows that the Dutch did indeed possess a technological edge thanks to the Renaissance fort and the broadside sailing ship, that edge was neutralized by the formidable Chinese military leadership. Thanks to a rich heritage of ancient war wisdom, Koxinga and his generals outfoxed the Dutch at every turn.

Exploring a period when the military balance between Europe and China was closer than at any other point in modern history, Lost Colony reassesses an important chapter in world history and offers valuable and surprising lessons for contemporary times.


"In this page-turning historical narrative, Andrade chronicles the 1661-62 battle for Taiwan in what is often seen as the first modern conflict between an Eastern and Western power. While historians have traditionally viewed Europeans then as more advanced in science, technology, and political infrastructures than their Eastern counterparts, Andrade reveals that Chinese warfare tactics based on ancient texts and military philosophy, built up over a millennia of a rich cultural heritage, actually allowed for the enigmatic leader Koxinga and his Chinese generals to neutralize any European superiority in weaponry and defeat the Dutch and thus the Dutch East India Company's hold on Taiwan. . . . For the global and military history enthusiast, this book is exceptionally insightful about the early-modern history of European contact in Asia."--Library Journal

"Tonio Andrade succeeds brilliantly not only in writing good history but in telling a gripping story. If you read only one book on Chinese history this year . . . make it this one."--Timothy Brook, Literary Review

"A most interesting, very well-written and highly important account of the Dutch loss of Taiwan that is deliberately located in terms of the debate over Western military proficiency vis-á-vis that of China. The book offers much."--Jeremy Black, European Review of History

"[The Lost Colony] could easily pass for an exciting historical novel. Andrade spins a gripping tale, full of excellent anecdotes and insights . . . well written with a wealth of details that are well documented."--Gerrit van der Wees, Taipei Times

"Lost Colony proves to be a good read as Andrade turns that would seem like a minor footnote in history into a stirring and insightful account of military campaigns, pirates, sieges, treachery, and naval battles."--Hilton Yip, Asian Review of Books

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Table of Contents:

Illustrations ix
Dramatis Personae xi
An Execution 3
Destinies Entwined 21
Pirate War 34
War Is the Art of Deception 45
The Wrath of Heaven 54
The Samurai 60
The General 68
The Sea King 82
Heaven Has Not Tired of Chaos on Earth 99
An Extreme and Terrifying Storm 111
A Foggy Morning 117
Koxinga’s Victories 124
Parleys and Capitulations 137
The Castle 152
An Assault 165
A Summer of Misery 181
Relief from the Sea 194
The Fleet 207
A Foolish Attack 218
The Defectors 227
Koxinga Closes In 239
The Accidental Embassy 250
Acrimony 269
The Last Battle 278
Surrender 290
A Mad Death 298
Epilogues and Conclusions 307
Acknowledgments 331
Notes 335
References 399
Index 423

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