This Very Short Introduction offers an indispensable starting point for anyone who needs to quickly know the themes and controversies that have shaped modern China. Prize-winning author and scholar Rana Mitter examines the modern history, politics, economy, and thriving cultural scene of contemporary China, and its relations with the wider world.
This lively guide covers a range of social issues from the decline of footbinding and the position of women in society, to the influence of television and film, and the role of the overseas Chinese diaspora. It covers many prominent figures as well, such as the Communist leaders, the last emperors, and prominent writers and artists throughout China's history.
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This is a basic overview of China's history. For those who are looking for detailed account of China you will find this a bit shallow.
While breezing through important points in China's history the author does make an effort to sift propaganda away from fact and gives you the foundation for further research.
This reads more like a textbook than anything else so steer clear if you're looking for a thrilling epic.
The book covers events roughly from the Qing dynasty all the way up to the Beijing Olympics.
All-in-all, not bad.
Not a particularly well written or well read history, came across to me as quite drab and lifeless, lacking any vivid detail of people or events and somewhat distracted by esoteric debates over what "modernity" means (who cares). Reader speaks beautiful Chinese but is not an accomplished narrator.
If you're looking for a clear introduction to modern China, this isn't it. Instead, it's an academic paper about the esoteric question of whether China can be called "modern," whether it has now achieved "modernity." That being said, if one can get passed the constant references to "modern" and "modernity," this book provides an overview of China's history during the 20th century. Conversely, for a fascinating introduction to modern China, listen to Rob Gifford's "China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power" here on Audible.com.
This was a fantastic short version of what I wanted. Now I know exactly what I want to research further. Nancy Wu is awesome. Thank you.
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