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From the Publisher"A book which is without doubt the most lucid and stimulating introduction to the problems of the economic and social history of traditional China at present available. . . . There is so much that is new and stimulating in this book, and it is written with such a nice balance between argument and vivid quotation from primary sources. . . . A superb introduction to the distinctive patterns of Chinese history over the span of two millennia."
"Every now and then a book appears which by its evidence and boldness of argument redirects our thinking, making us re-examine old problems in unprecedented ways. Such were Marc Bloch's Les caractères originaux de l'histoire rurale française and E.H. Norman's Japan's Emergence as a Modern State. I predict The Pattern of the Chinese Past will achieve similar fame in Chinese historical studies. It is a brilliant achievement. . . . Elvin's book will stand out as a landmark in Chinese social and economic studies."
—Ramon H. Myers
,The Journal of Asian Studies
"The work will attract attention both for its obvious merits—readability, attention to large and important problems, frequent brilliant historical insights—and because the author's interpretations at times 'depart considerably from the received consensus.'"
,The China Quarterly