Adam Clulow’s book wins prestigious prizes

clulow-company-shogunAdam Clulow’s book The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan has been awarded the American Historical Association’s 2015 Jerry Bentley Prize in world history, and the 2015 International Convention of Asia Scholars’ Humanities Book Prize.

In regard to the first of these prizes, a blog of the American Historical Association notes: “The AHA offers annual prizes honoring exceptional books, distinguished teaching and mentoring in the classroom, public history, and other historical projects. This year’s finalists were selected from a field of almost 1,500 entries by nearly 100 dedicated prize committee members. The names, publications, and projects of those who received these awards are a catalogue of the best work produced in the historical discipline.”

In reference to the second of these prizes, the citation reads:

The Company and the Shogun takes a fresh approach to the study of European power in Asia during the early modern period. Thoroughly researched and thoughtfully argued, Clulow uses the case of the 17th century Dutch East Indies trade company interactions with Tokugawa Japan to interrogate European-centric historical tropes about the rise of the West and European conquest in Asia during this time. Clulow argues that rather than being aggressive merchant pirates who laid the groundwork for early colonialism, the Dutch became loyal vassals who were forced to adopt a subordinate role to the Shogun. With its accessible prose and important implications, this book should be a requirement for students of world history and all of those concerned with the issue of colonial encounters and east-west relations.”