Product Description More populous than any other country on earth, China also occupies a unique place in our modern world for the continuity of its history and culture. In this sumptuously illustrated single-volume history, noted historian Patricia Ebrey traces the origins of Chinese culture from prehistoric times to the present. She follows its development from the rise of Confucianism, Buddhism, and the great imperial dynasties to the Mongol, Manchu, and Western intrusions and the modern communist state. Her scope is phenomenal--embracing Chinese arts, culture, economics, society and its treatment of women, foreign policy, emigration, and politics, including the key uprisings of 1919 and 1989 in Tiananmen Square. Both a comprehensive introduction to an extraordinary civilization, and an expert exploration of the continuities and disjunctures of Chinese history, Professor Ebrey's book has become an indispensable guide to China past and present. Patricia Ebrey is Professor of East Asian Studies and History and the author of Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook (1993).
Amazon.com Review To compress 8,000 years of a civilization's life into a single volume is a daunting task, but University of Illinois historian Patricia Ebrey does the job with authority and considerable flair. Writing with an eye to explaining recurring themes in Chinese history, she discusses ideas of order and statecraft, resource allocation and use, imperialism and population growth. Along the way she makes interesting asides, noting, among other things, that the Mongol conquerors of China monopolized the bamboo trade because they did not want the ethnic Chinese to make weapons, and she gives stimulating overviews of such matters as the manufacture of silk, hardwood furniture, and ceramics.