Some background to China

Excellent history of China

The Ming Empire without its "vassal state...
Image via Wikipedia

Recently read Chinamerica and reviewed here.

I was looking for a basic history book to provide some insight into modern China.

Just read Patricia Buckley Ebrey’s ‘Cambridge Illustrated History – China’ (2nd Edition).  Would recommend this to anyone looking for an outline history.  Not that one reading of 360 odd pages makes for an expert on China.  But it certainly helps in trying to understand some of the background to what is modern China.

Reminds me of how little I learned about China during my school days.  And how we were programmed to measure China’s progress in terms of how it imitated Western culture.  Wrong approach.

Interesting to walk through the different dynasties – their rise and fall (Tang, Song, Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming, Qing) – through to Mao and modern China.

Now looking forward to reading ‘When China Rules the World’ – having read the background history.


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