China Contested: Western Powers in East Asia

China Contested: Western Powers in East Asia

by Matthew J. Flynn

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Chelsea House�s new series, �Arbitrary Borders: Political Boundaries in World History,� examines the lines that have been marked by countries to define their territories. Often the result of a battle, these boundaries have separated the people of different countries in terms of their languages, cultures, traditions, and ethnicities but they do not always stop two contiguous nations from buying and selling goods from one another. Frequent migration across borders is also highly likely, unless it is very strictly prohibited. This text details China�s rise and fall as intra-country rebellions and surrounding wars slowly defined the boundaries inside which China exists to this day. From the Mongol Invasion and the division that created Hong Kong, to World War I, World War II and the Cold War, the text is expansive in its intent to describe how Western influences impacted China. Designed with the young adult or high school-aged reader in mind, the text provides a detailed avenue to increase the reader�s knowledge base. The timeline, bibliography, notes and index also help clarify and extend readers� comprehension. Reviewer: Kimberly O�Meara
School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up
As the subtitle indicates, most of the text focuses on interactions between China and the West, and much of it is a sad story of mutual misunderstanding. Although the writing is usually clear (if not scintillating), occasionally it is confusing. What does it mean to say that "borders became increasingly varied" as dynasties expanded? A more extensive example occurs in a discussion of China's relations with neighbors, as the author does not identify the borders or the neighbors. The text occasionally reverts to Wade-Giles from now-standard pinyin. Students will long for more maps (there are only three). A few boxes highlight interesting subtopics; one on the Chinese navy describes its inadequacies, but not Cixi's famous misappropriation of sums meant to modernize it. The emphasis on borders means that this slim volume is far from a complete look even at China's recent past. Nevertheless, it touches on key points concerning the country's integrity and relations with outsiders, especially the United States. The absence of discussion of British and Russian involvement in Tibet and the northwest autonomous regions, and their eventual inclusion within Chinese borders, or of the contested border with India, will lessen the value of this volume overall.
—Patricia D. LothropCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Chelsea House Publishers
Publication date:
Arbitrary Borders Series: Political Boundaries in World History
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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