China: History of China

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China History Books

Beautifully illustrated, giving the sense of the lives of the non-military as well as the military.

Includes:

Some of the more interesting areas regard how things are done, such as how rice and silk are cultivated and how hardwood furniture and ceramics are manufactured.

If it has a weakness the book lacks a strong sense of historical narrative: I was glad to have Roberts' A Concise History of China at hind, to clarify the sequence in which things happened, the scores being settled, and the debts being paid.

Chapters:

  1. The Origins of Chinese Civilization: Neolithic Period to the Western Zhou Dynasty.
  2. Philosphical Foundations: The Eastern Zhou Period.
  3. The Creation of the Bureaucractic Empire: The Qin and Han Dynasties.
  4. Buddhism, Aristocracy, and Alien Rulers: The Age of Division.
  5. A Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty.
  6. Shifting South: The Song Dynasty.
  7. Alien Rule: The Liao, Jin, and Yuan Dynasties.
  8. The Limits of Autocracy: The Ming Dynasty.
  9. Manchus and Imperialism: The Qing Dynasty.
  10. Taking Action: THe Early Twentieth Century.
  11. Radical Reunification: The People's Republic.
  12. Opening to the World: China Since 1976.

A Concise History of China by J. A. G. Roberts

Roberts' A Concise History of China (1999) is a more traditional (lots of names and dates; no color illustrations of art) history in which the factions and causes and consequences are relatively clear; hence it is a useful complement to Ebrey's book, where the facts are relatively sparse and motivations are often unclear.

Features include:

On China by Henry Kissinger

[in progress]

Historical fiction set in China

19th century China:

20th century China: