Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ebook Version of Taiwan's 400 Year History

Taiwan's 400 year History -an abridged English version of Su Beng's encyclopedic book, People of Taiwan’s 400 Year History (台彎人四百年史)

For some time I’ve thought that there should be an ebook version of Taiwan’s 400 Year History. This book is an extremely abridged English version of Su Beng’s encyclopedic book, People of Taiwan’s 400 Year History (台彎人四百年史), which is over 2000 pages long and written in Chinese. Actually, what I’d really like to one day see is a complete translation of Su Beng’s, People of Taiwan’s 400 Year History, since the English version is only a mere 160-something pages long in comparison. One day it will happen, but for now it would be good to make Taiwan’s 400 Year History more accessible by having an ebook version of it. Perhaps it could also be made available for print on demand, since it is now out of print. The crazy thing is that I’ve actually seen a copy of Taiwan’s 400 Year History for sale on for over 500 dollars!

Recently, I spoke to Su Beng about creating an ebook version of Taiwan’s 400 Year History. He not only gave me the go ahead to do this, but also suggested that I personally edit and revise it. 

The first thing that I’m thinking of revising is the book’s title. Su Beng used the term “400 years” to refer to Taiwan’s written, documented history, which began in the 1600s with the Dutch occupation. However Taiwan has a prehistory evidenced by archaeological findings that indicate Taiwan was inhabited by indigenous people thousands of years before any major Han Chinese migration in the 17th century.  Human remains dating back as far as 30,000 years ago have been found in Taiwan. So the title, Taiwan’s 400 Year History is a bit misleading because Taiwan’s history is actually more than 400 years long.

That being said here are some alternate titles that I’ve come up with:

400 Years of Taiwan’s History
Taiwan’s 400 Year Written History 
Taiwan’s 400 Years of Written History
Taiwan’s 400 Years of Documented History

What title would you vote for?

I’ll take suggestions for a new title for the revised ebook version.

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