China: Confucian and Communist

China: Confucian and Communist

China: Confucian and Communist

China: Confucian and Communist

Excerpt

We cannot any more remain unconcerned with our neighbors, and today everybody is our neighbor. This volume deals with a group of our neighbors of over 600 million strong, with their past and present. Their future is now intertwined with ours. It is to our own advantage to be well informed about them.

My intent in writing this book was mainly to draw a realistic picture of a great nation, its culture, and its role in world affairs. Behind the work, based on world-wide travel, observation, and study, stands the conviction that cause and effect in history can be fully understood only by looking at a nation as an integrated whole, even as is the case with the personality of an individual. Like the latter, a nation is molded, shaken, and changed by new experience.

Taking this viewpoint, I have followed recent trends of historiography by employing broadly the contributions and insights of the other social sciences not only to describe the what but also to explain the why of history. National action, precisely as the conduct of individuals, may be inspired by a great variety of motives: It may be prompted by political, economic, cultural, ideological, historical, or psychological considerations, or it may be, and usually is, prompted by mingled motivational elements. Therefore, to make action understandable, analysis must use all available sources propelling behavior and not content itself with the customary departmental blinders which make study easier but understanding more difficult. From the broader vantage point the result will be a more meaningful history, one making for wider interest on the part of historians, scholars in other disciplines, students of society and world affairs, and, indeed, men and women in all walks of life.

My purpose set, I was confronted with a triple task of analysis:

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