China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know

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Overview

The need to understand China has never been more pressing. Within one generation, the global giant has transformed from an impoverished, repressive state into an economic and political powerhouse; yet conflicting impressions of the country and its leaders abound. In the fully revised and updated second edition of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know®, China expert Jeffrey Wasserstrom-with assistance from Maura Elizabeth Cunningham—provides cogent answers to the most urgent questions regarding ...

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China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to KnowRG

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Overview

The need to understand China has never been more pressing. Within one generation, the global giant has transformed from an impoverished, repressive state into an economic and political powerhouse; yet conflicting impressions of the country and its leaders abound. In the fully revised and updated second edition of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know®, China expert Jeffrey Wasserstrom-with assistance from Maura Elizabeth Cunningham—provides cogent answers to the most urgent questions regarding the superpower, and offers a framework for understanding its meteoric rise.

Focusing his answers through the historical legacies—Western and Japanese imperialism, the Mao era, and the massacre near Tiananmen Square—that largely define China's present-day trajectory, Wasserstrom introduces readers to the Chinese Communist Party, the building boom in Shanghai, and the environmental fall-out of rapid Chinese industrialization. He also explains unique aspects of Chinese culture such as the one-child policy, and provides insight into how Chinese view Americans.

Wasserstrom reveals that China today shares many traits with other industrialized nations during their periods of development, in particular the United States during its rapid industrialization in the 19th century. He provides guidance on the ways we can expect China to act in the future vis-à-vis the United States, Russia, India, and its East Asian neighbors. The second edition has also been updated to take into account changes China has seen in just the past two years, from the global economic shifts to the recent removal of Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai from power.

Concise and insightful, China in the 21st Century provides an excellent introduction to this significant global power.

What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Acclaim for the China in the 21st Century:
"a lively and vigorous primer" - Ian Johnson, New York Review of Books

"Wasserstrom is a sure-footed guide through the thickets of China's history and the turbo-driven landscape of its current affairs. Indispensable reading."
—Andrew Ross, author of Fast Boat to China: Lessons from Shanghai

"Readers who know a fair bit about China already will be left better informed, looking at what they already knew in another light. Readers new to the subject couldn't start in a better place."
—Urbanatomy.com

"Wasserstrom, a preeminent scholar of Chinese history, here provides a useful resource for those who want a greater understanding of the how and why of China's emergence as a global power."
—Library Journal

"Wasserstrom has accomplished a remarkable feat: melding the insights from deep scholarly immersion in history with an up-to-the-minute grasp on contemporary developments in China and beyond. Written in a crisp prose ... questions big and small, alarmingly complex and deceptively simple—from who Confucius was to how the Communists defeated the Nationalists and whether China was bent on world domination—are answered with aplomb and precision."
—Haiyan Lee, Stanford University

"Jeffrey Wasserstom has found the perfect collaborator in Maura Cunningham. Together, they have produced, analyzed, and digested more of the best research on China's past and present than a reader could ever hope to match. And now they have taken on the hardest question of all: What truly matters most in understanding China? In this crystalline and up-to-date edition, they have given us the answers. I keep this book within reach at all times."
—Evan Osnos, China Correspondent, The New Yorker Magazine, Beijing

From the Publisher

Acclaim for the China in the 21st Century:
"a lively and vigorous primer" - Ian Johnson, New York Review of Books

"Wasserstrom is a sure-footed guide through the thickets of China's history and the turbo-driven landscape of its current affairs. Indispensable reading."
--Andrew Ross, author of Fast Boat to China: Lessons from Shanghai

"Readers who know a fair bit about China already will be left better informed, looking at what they already knew in another light. Readers new to the subject couldn't start in a better place."
--Urbanatomy.com

"Wasserstrom, a preeminent scholar of Chinese history, here provides a useful resource for those who want a greater understanding of the how and why of China's emergence as a global power."
--Library Journal

"Wasserstrom has accomplished a remarkable feat: melding the insights from deep scholarly immersion in history with an up-to-the-minute grasp on contemporary developments in China and beyond. Written in a crisp prose ... questions big and small, alarmingly complex and deceptively simple--from who Confucius was to how the Communists defeated the Nationalists and whether China was bent on world domination--are answered with aplomb and precision."
--Haiyan Lee, Stanford University

"Jeffrey Wasserstom has found the perfect collaborator in Maura Cunningham. Together, they have produced, analyzed, and digested more of the best research on China's past and present than a reader could ever hope to match. And now they have taken on the hardest question of all: What truly matters most in understanding China? In this crystalline and up-to-date edition, they have given us the answers. I keep this book within reach at all times."
--Evan Osnos, China Correspondent, The New Yorker Magazine, Beijing

Library Journal
Wasserstrom (history, Indiana Univ.; China's Brave New World), a preeminent scholar of Chinese history, here provides a useful resource for those who want a greater understanding of the how and why of China's emergence as a global power. Concisely, Wasserstrom demystifies issues such as Tibet, Tiananmen Square, Taiwan, and the Falun Gong. Emphasizing contexts for understanding China's rapid industrialization and modernization, he delves into China's history from the age of dynastic imperialism, to the period of Western and Japanese colonialism, and finally to the Communist era and its continued shaping of the country's present-day course. China's near-overnight transformation from an indigent peasant state to a political and economic superpower becomes apparent. Perhaps most illuminating is the book's comparative analysis with Western nations, carefully constructed around examples of similarities between contemporary China (since the 1980s) and the United States during its own industrialization during the 19th century. VERDICT Offering much insight, especially to readers unfamiliar with the topic, Wasserstrom crafts a balanced view of China's often misunderstood political regime and cultural nuances. Recommended for those who want a basic comprehension of Chinese recent history and politics.—Allan Cho, Univ. of British Columbia Lib., Vancouver
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199974962
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2013
  • Series: What Everyone Needs to Know Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 177,954
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom is a Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Global Shanghai, China's Brave New World, and Twentieth Century China.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2010

    Good Start!

    If you want a good overview of China to date and its history this is a great place to start. I plan to move onto more China books using this one as an excellent start.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 27, 2012

    Full of clear explanations of fast-changing Chinese realities an

    Full of clear explanations of fast-changing Chinese realities and thoughtful comparisons with American experience. Wasserstrom is a friendly, capable guide, dealing with tons of the questions Westerners normally raise. Along the way he compares the career of Mao Zedong with that of Andrew Jackson. He compares American views on ethnic unrest in Xinjiang with those of Indian journalists, who have their own familiarity with ethnic disturbances.

    Along with his compact explanations, Wasserstrom directs the reader to a host of good websites and books. He calls for a corresponding book on what everyone in China should know about the USA.

    --author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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