An internationally recognized authority on Chinese history and a leading innovator in its telling, Cho-yun Hsu constructs an original portrait of Chinese culture. Unlike most historians, Hsu resists centering his narrative on China's political evolution, focusing instead on the country's cultural sphere and its encounters with successive waves of globalization. Beginning long before China's written history and extending through the twentieth century, Hsu follows the content and expansion of Chinese culture, describing the daily lives of commoners, their spiritual beliefs and practices, the changing character of their social and popular thought, and their advances in material culture and technology. In addition to listing the achievements of emperors, generals, ministers, and sages, Hsu builds detailed accounts of these events and their everyday implications. Dynastic change, the rise and fall of national ambitions, and the growth and decline of institutional systems take on new significance through Hsu's careful research, which captures the multiple strands that gave rise to China's pluralistic society. Paying particular attention to influential relationships occurring outside of Chinese cultural boundaries, he demonstrates the impact of foreign influences on Chinese culture and identity and identifies similarities between China's cultural developments and those of other nations.
About the Author
Cho-yun Hsu is University Professor Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh. He earned his B.A. and M.A. from National Taiwan University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has authored or coauthored a number of books, including Seek the Way, Business and Professional Ethics, Exploring Interpretation in Chinese History, and Western Chou Civilization.
Timothy Danforth Baker Jr. is assistant professor of history at the National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan, ROC. He specializes in the cultural history of early China and the metropolitan communities of the Han and Tang dynasties.
Michael S. Duke is professor emeritus of Chinese and comparative literature at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Blooming and Contending: Chinese Literature in the Post Mao Era and The Iron House: A Memoir of the Chinese Democracy Movement and the Tiananmen Massacre.
Table of Contents
ChronologyList of FiguresNotes on the TranslationAuthor's PrefacePrologue1. Prehistory: China's Earliest Cultures According to Regional Archaeology2. The Emergence of Chinese Civilization: The Sixteenth Through Third Centuries B.C.E.3. China Comes Into Its Own: The Third Century B.C.E. to the Second Century C.E.4. China in East Asia: The Second to Tenth Centuries C.E.5. China in an Asian Multistate System: The Tenth to Fifteenth Centuries C.E.6. China Enters the World System7. China Enters the World System8. A Century of Uncertainty: 1850 to 1950AfterwordIndex 04_hsu15920_00_toc.doc: v
What People are Saying About This
Of the many books in English on Chinese history that appear every year seldom does one offer a unique but authentic perspective and insight. Hsu Cho-yun's magisterial China: A New Cultural History, is one those. Through a fascinating survey of the dynamics of China's changing social, economic, and cultural life and its episodic melding with other societies Hsu traces the unrivaled saga of the Chinese people from Paleolithic time to the beginning of the Peoples Republic. A tour de force!
Jay Taylor, Author of The Generalissimo, Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China