More populous than any other country on earth, China also occupies a unique place in our modern world for the continuity of its history and culture. In this sumptuously illustrated single-volume history, now in its second edition, noted historian Patricia Buckley Ebrey traces the origins of Chinese culture from prehistoric times to the present. She follows its development from the rise of Confucianism, Buddhism, and the great imperial dynasties to the Mongol, Manchu, and Western intrusions and the modern communist state. Her scope is phenomenal - embracing Chinese arts, culture, economics, society and its treatment of women, foreign policy, emigration, and politics, including the key uprisings of 1919 and 1989 in Tiananmen Square. Both a comprehensive introduction to an extraordinary civilization and an expert exploration of the continuities and disjunctures of Chinese history, Professor Ebrey's book has become an indispensable guide to China past and present. This second edition includes a new chapter on China's recent opening to the world and a fully revised guide to further reading.
About the Author
Patricia Buckley Ebrey is Professor of History at the University of Washington and the author of multiple books and articles.
Table of Contents
Foreword; Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. The origins of Chinese civilization: Neolithic period to the Western Zhou dynasty (animal and human imagery in bronze vessels); 2. Philosophical foundations: the Eastern Zhou period; 3. The creation of the bureaucratic empire: the Qin and Han dynasties; 4. Buddhism, aristocracy, and alien rulers: the age of division (early Buddhist art); 5. A cosmopolitan empire: the Tang dynasty; 6. Shifting south: the Song dynasty (landscape painting); 7. Alien rule: the Liao, Jin, and Yuan dynasties (drama and the performing arts); 8. The limits of autocracy: the Ming dynasty (the kilns at Jingdezhen); 9. Manchus and imperialism: the Qing dynasty (working for a living); 10. Taking action: the early twentieth century (modern Chinese painting); 11. Radical reunification: the People's Republic (the cult of Mao); 12. Opening to the world: China since 1976 (Tibet); Epilogue; Chronology.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ebrey is always sensitive to the implications of events for ordinary people and for women. She constructs her history like a vast collage of voices, and strives to include every sort of person in the tale. Her narrative features numerous sidebars offering fascinating sub-plots, on topics like Tang-era love stories, house construction, The Biographies of Heroic Women by Liu Xiang (79-8 BC), codes of crime and punishment, legendary demons, village fairs, popular dramas such as Injustice to Dou E, modern painting, or the life of feminist writer Ding Ling (1904-85). Almost every page is quietly entertaining. --author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization
I was very disappointed in this order and in Barnes and Nobles. I placed the order for this book on September 20, and was told I would receive it on the 27TH. I needed this book for a class I was taking and an assignment that would be due on October 2nd. I CHOSE Barnes and Nobles OVER Amazon, as I was satisfied by another order I had made previously and it said it would arrive a day earlier than Amazon (even though I had 2-day shipping). I RECEIVED THIS BOOK ON THE 30TH! I almost considered canceling the order and doing a rush-order with Amazon. When Amazon says an order will arrive on "said date," it will arrive on "said date." Now, about the quality of the book, I don't mind when an order is used, but placing impossible stickers to take off that say USED, is pretty annoying. If you need to purchase or rent something from Barnes and Nobles, do so, WITHOUT a deadline, making sure to give yourself an extra week- DON'T count on their arrival date!