The Everlasting Empire: The Political Culture of Ancient China and Its Imperial Legacy

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Overview

"An important study of classical Chinese political culture, The Everlasting Empire develops exciting and provocative arguments concerning the reasons that imperial unity came to be seen as a defining norm in classical China. This book has far-reaching implications for understanding contemporary Chinese political culture as well."—Michael Puett, author of To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China

"Deeply researched, packed with detail, and bold in scope and analysis, The Everlasting Empire offers a compact yet profound interpretation of the ideological foundations of Chinese political culture. Reflecting on imperial China through its cycles of unity and disintegration from antiquity to the present, this magisterial contribution to empire studies and global history comes at a pivotal moment in time."—Martin Kern, Princeton University

"This is a knowledgeable and original book about imperial Chinese political culture. Pines argues that China displayed a remarkable tendency to unite over the course of its centuries-long history and that no serious alternative to the imperial model was proposed before the advent of the West in the nineteenth century. Surprisingly few, if any, books have addressed this subject, despite its importance not only for Chinese history but also for world civilization."—Paul Goldin, University of Pennsylvania

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
A unique perspective, well presented in accessible language and backed up with extensive notes and bibliography, the work represents high-quality scholarship from broad-based social science at its best. It belongs in all college and university libraries.
From the Publisher
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2012

"A unique perspective, well presented in accessible language and backed up with extensive notes and bibliography, the work represents high-quality scholarship from broad-based social science at its best. It belongs in all college and university libraries."—
Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691134956
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/27/2012
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Yuri Pines holds the Michael W. Lipson Chair in Chinese Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a visiting professor at Nankai University in Tianjin, China. He is the author of "Foundations of Confucian Thought" and "Envisioning Eternal Empire."

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi i
Introduction 1
Chapter 1: The Ideal of "Great Unity" 11
Chapter 2: The Monarch 44
Chapter 3: The Literati 76
Chapter 4: Local Elite 104
Chapter 5: The People 134
Chapter 6: Imperial Political Culture in the Modern Age 162
Notes 185
Bibliography 209
Index 233

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