Covers over 4 centuries of Chinese history, from the waning days of the once-glorious Ming Dynasty to Deng Xiao-Ping's bloody suppression of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Through the ideas and emotions of its reformist Confucian scholars, its poets, novelists, artists and its visionary students, we see a culture struggling ...Read MoreCovers over 4 centuries of Chinese history, from the waning days of the once-glorious Ming Dynasty to Deng Xiao-Ping's bloody suppression of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Through the ideas and emotions of its reformist Confucian scholars, its poets, novelists, artists and its visionary students, we see a culture struggling to define itself as Chinese and modern. Through the actions of the great Qing emperors and the dominant figures of this century - Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-Shek, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiao-Ping - we see a state struggling to establish harmony within, and its autonomy in the world. Through the daily work of survival and their collective bursts of rebellion and revolution - 1644, 1850, 1911, 1949, 1989 - we see the Chinese people struggling to remake their lives.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1991-03-15 Spence advocates democracy in China and presents contemporary views of its oppressive history, including Chiang Kai-Shek's fascist supporters and the bloodbath known as the Cultural Revolution. ``A splendid achievement, this sweeping . . . epic chronicle compresses four centuries of political and social change into a sharply observant narrative,'' said PW . Photos. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly, 1990-03-16 Spence ( The Question of Hu ) argues that China's modernization strategies can't work unless the people are allowed to participate in political decision-making. A splendid achievement, this sweeping 1088-page epic chronicle compresses four centuries of political and social change into a sharply observant narrative. Spence offers contemporary perspectives on the British 19th-century drive to get the Chinese masses addicted to opium, Chiang Kai-Shek's secret police apparatus and proto-fascist supporters, Japan's ruthless occupation during WW II, the Mao bloodbath known as the ``Cultural Revolution'' and the legacy of China's bureaucratic, authoritarian Ming and Qing dynasties. Photos. 50,000 printing; BOMC, QPB and History Book Club selections; author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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