The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500-1800

The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500-1800

by D. E. Mungello
     
 

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For the Chinese, the drive toward growing political and economic power is part of an ongoing effort to restore China's past greatness and remove the lingering memories of history's humiliations. This widely praised book explores the 1500–1800 period before China's decline, when the country was viewed as a leading world culture and power. Europe, by

Overview

For the Chinese, the drive toward growing political and economic power is part of an ongoing effort to restore China's past greatness and remove the lingering memories of history's humiliations. This widely praised book explores the 1500–1800 period before China's decline, when the country was viewed as a leading world culture and power. Europe, by contrast, was in the early stages of emerging from provincial to international status while the United States was still an uncharted wilderness. D. E. Mungello argues that this earlier era, ironically, may contain more relevance for today than the more recent past. This fully revised fourth edition retains the clear and concise quality of its predecessors, while drawing on a wealth of new research on Sino-Western history and the increasing contributions of Chinese historians. Building on the author's decades of research and teaching, this compelling book illustrates the vital importance of history to readers trying to understand China’s renewed rise.

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Ingenious textbook . . . stepping back into the period 1500-1800 must represent the wave of the future, and it is good to see such a thought-provoking example of the practice here already.
— T. H. Barrett, University of London
Molloy College
I was impressed with the author's erudition and facile writing. The book is scholarly, clear and interesting—a marvelous achievement that makes it ideal for my students.
— Anthony P. DiPerna
Journal of Oriental Studies
A very good book. It is well-written and interesting.
Choice
Mungello's work provides a welcome addition to the literature on the early period of the Sino-Western encounter. . . . Mungello combines admirable concision with astute insights into the complexities of class, culture, and religion, both within China and among the Westerners vying for trade, influence, and souls there.
Edwin Van Kley
I am impressed with the depth of the scholarship which informs the descriptions, generalizations, and judgments presented so lucidly in the text. While its subject matter is serious and sometimes complex, it is clearly written in an engaging style and is easily understandable.
Wm. Theodore de Bary
No one is more qualified to deal with the Encounter of China and the West 1500-1800 than David Mungello, who has devoted a lifetime to its study and indeed has long since established himself as the prime leader in Sino-Western studies in America.
John Henderson
Mungello's book presents a lucid, concise, and absorbing account of the first great intellectual encounter between China and Europe, which is both fully accessible to the general reader and challenging to specialists. Not only is it the best available synthetic treatment of this large and important subject, but it also covers facets of the great encounter that are often neglected, such as the aesthetic.
Jonathan Spence
In this admirable introduction to the great period of China's interactions with the West, D. E. Mungello condenses a lifetime of study into a concise and accessible form. Especially valuable are his analyses of mutual artistic influences, of theories of language and race, and of the internal rivalries that split both Chinese intellectuals and the Catholic Church.
Daniel H. Bays
Mungello, one of the world's leading authorities on early modern Sino-Western cultural relations, draws on his own lifelong research and mature interpretive views as well as the work of other scholars to provide us with a concise but rich analysis.
Anthony P. DiPerna
I was impressed with the author's erudition and facile writing. The book is scholarly, clear and interesting—a marvelous achievement that makes it ideal for my students.
CHOICE - C. A. Desnoyers
Mungello's work provides a welcome addition to the literature on the early period of the Sino-Western encounter. . . . Mungello combines admirable concision with astute insights into the complexities of class, culture, and religion, both within China and among the Westerners vying for trade, influence, and souls there.
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) - T. H. Barrett
Ingenious textbook . . . stepping back into the period 1500-1800 must represent the wave of the future, and it is good to see such a thought-provoking example of the practice here already.
The Catholic Historical Review - Robert E. Carbonneau
Mungello has written an excellent summary on Chinese-Western relations (1500-1800). An essential book for historical, theological, and mission libraries, graduate and undergraduate students.
CHOICE
Mungello's work provides a welcome addition to the literature on the early period of the Sino-Western encounter. . . . Mungello combines admirable concision with astute insights into the complexities of class, culture, and religion, both within China and among the Westerners vying for trade, influence, and souls there.
Bulletin Of The School Of Oriental and African Studies
Ingenious textbook . . . stepping back into the period 1500-1800 must represent the wave of the future, and it is good to see such a thought-provoking example of the practice here already.
— T. H. Barrett
Catholic Historical Review
Mungello has written an excellent summary on Chinese-Western relations (1500-1800). An essential book for historical, theological, and mission libraries, graduate and undergraduate students.
— Robert E. Carbonneau, C. P.
China Review International
The brevity of Mungello's book might suggest that it was meant only for freshmen-level surveys of world history or Chinese and/or Western history;
however, this book, with its wealth of information and insight, can well serve upper-level students embarking on a more in-depth study of the problem of Sino-Western cultural interaction and interpretation, and general readers who seek to enhance their understanding of China and the profound misunderstandings that have so frequently characterized Sino-Western encounter in the past. . . . This [study] is the product of considerable erudition as well as interpretive sensitivity.
Journal of World History
Small wonder that the admirable Jonathan Spence himself praises this book as an 'admirable introduction to the great period of China's interactions with the West'. Professor Mungello's work is a virtual parade of scholarly observations and analyses of an intricate series of ethereal intercultural exchanges between Ming and Manchu China, and Enlightenment Europe. He interprets these three centuries of give-and-take through the lenses of religion and the arts. His work is chock-full of widely revealing detail of the cultural, intellectual, and religious interplay that had, at times, as much effect on the contributor as the recipient.
Journal Of Oriental Studies
...a very good book. It is well written and interesting.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442219779
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
11/01/2012
Series:
Critical Issues in World and International History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
190
File size:
10 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

D. E. Mungello is professor of history at Baylor University.

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