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China: A New History, Enlarged Edition, John King Fairbank

China: A New History, Enlarged Edition,

John King Fairbank

Published
ISBN : 9780674116726
Hardcover
568 pages
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 About the Book 

Recognized for decades as the Wests doyen on China, John King Fairbank here offers the full and final expression of his lifelong engagement with this vast, ancient civilization. Fairbanks masterwork, China: A New History is without parallel as aMoreRecognized for decades as the Wests doyen on China, John King Fairbank here offers the full and final expression of his lifelong engagement with this vast, ancient civilization. Fairbanks masterwork, China: A New History is without parallel as a concise, comprehensive, and authoritative account of China and its people over four millennia. Bringing to bear sixty years of research, travel, and teaching, Fairbank weaves a richly detailed history that reaches from Chinas neolithic days to its troubled present. With a deft hand, he depicts a country ever-changing and yet constant in its effort to achieve a cohesive identity, an enormous and enormously complex nation perpetually balancing between the imperatives of force and the power of ideas. Here are the Chinese autocrats in their various times and guises, maintaining Confucian civility and order through--paradoxically--the perpetual threat of irrational imperial violence. Here is the intellectual class, revered for its wisdom and counsel and yet--as events from the Cultural Revolution to the massacre in Tiananmen Square demonstrate--eminently expendable. And here are Chinas farmers engaged in a never-ending, backbreaking attempt to tame their temperamental countryside only to face repeated famine as Chinas agrarian-based economy fails to develop. At the center of all stands the Chinese family, until recently the model for both obedience and tyranny in society at large. Fairbank traces the growth of a civilization that could embrace so many contradictions and disruptions and yet retain a strong sense of its identity. Following Chinas ambivalent relations with the West and with the forces of modernization, he identifies, even in thegreat leap forward signaled by the Communist Revolution, the assumptions that have informed Chinese society for thousands of years. From the influences of Buddhism through the flowering of Song China to the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, this richly illustrated history unfolds in the w