The Wobbling Pivot, China since 1800: An Interpretive History / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $82.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 25%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $82.95   
  • New (7) from $82.95   
  • Used (2) from $107.46   


This comprehensive but concise narrative of China since the eighteenth century builds its story around the delicate relationship between central government and local communities.

  • Rejects the traditional view of China as a wholly harmonious society based on principles of stability – the Unwobbling Pivot of Ezra Pound's translation of the Chinese classic Zhongyong
  • Provides an original interpretation, arguing that developments can be explained through an understanding of China’s surprising swings between centralization and decentralization, between local initiative and central authoritarianism
  • Serves as an introduction to the subject, while readers with a background in Chinese history will find the book offers a personal perspective and addresses long-standing interpretive issues
  • Supported by a variety of timelines, maps, illustrations, and extensive notes for further reading
  • Places China’s history within the context of global change
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Finding a fresh angle to a familiar story is a challenge, one that this book has dealt with creatively and convincingly.”  (English Historical Review, 1 June 2014

"As a textbook, The Wobbling Pivot is accessible, complete and readable, and as a synthesis of twentieth century Chinese history, it is both original and provocative, and a valuable introduction to the perennial issues that China poses in the undergraduate classroom.”  (The China Quarterly, 1 September 2012)

"[A] lively survey ... .It sheds considerable light on contemporary Chinese dilemmas." (Shanghaiist, December 2010)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405160797
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/9/2010
  • Series: Wiley Desktop Editions Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Pamela Kyle Crossley is Professor of Inner Asian, East Asian Intellectual and Chinese History at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. Her publications include The Manchus (Blackwell, 1997); A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Ideology (1999); and What is Global History? (2008). She is a past Guggenheim Fellow and was awarded the Levenson Prize from the Association for Asian Studies in 2001. 

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

List of Maps viii

Foreword and Acknowledgments ix

Prelude xi

Timeline xv

1 The Wobbling Pivot 1

2 Sources of Order Under the Qing Empire 21

3 Sources of Disorder Under the Qing Empire 44

4 Essay: Strategic Borders 66

5 Qing and the World 70

6 Essay: Rebel Heroines 98

7 Visionaries 100

8 Essay: Hunan Takes the Lead 126

9 Essay: Water 129

10 Beiyang Ascendancy 133

11 Cultural Revolution 155

12 Essay: Manchus as Minorities 177

13 War 180

14 The Ubiquitous Center 207

15 Essay: Minerals 240

16 Essay: Health Risks 243

17 Gravity 246

Bibliography 274

Index 295

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)