The Chinese Revolution in Historical Perspective

The Chinese Revolution in Historical Perspective

The Chinese Revolution in Historical Perspective

The Chinese Revolution in Historical Perspective

Synopsis

Offers a succinct history of China in terms of traditional Chinese historical theories, emphasizing the relationship between China's modern era and its past.

Excerpt

I am very pleased that Greenwood/Praeger is publishing a second edition of The Chinese Revolution in Historical Perspective. The book examines how the Chinese revolution of the past two hundred years relates to the longer history of China, and it does so primarily by analyzing the story in terms of traditional Chinese historical approaches and social theories. It is gratifying to me that the work has achieved sufficient interest for a new edition. A translation has also appeared in China, where a search for nonMarxist and more indigenous approaches to history is underway.

The first edition of The Chinese Revolution closed with the democracy movement of 1989. Much has happened since then, and this new edition brings the story and the analysis up to date. At the same time, I have revised the existing text where my views have developed, and in light of recent scholarship and of comments on the first edition. In addition, I have added an appendix detailing the traditional understanding of the key Chinese historiographical terms used in the book, fengjian and junxian. The bibliography has also been updated, the footnotes supplemented, and a map added. Not least important, this second edition is set in a larger typeface—in part at the suggestion of teachers who have adopted the book for classroom use.

In what follows, I touch briefly on certain issues not fully addressed in the first edition and respond to some of the comments on it. I assume a knowledge of the original preface here, and readers coming to the book for the first time should read that first (it follows this Preface). I introduce the goals of the work and its approach there and explicate the key terms.

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