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Making China Modern: From the Great Qing to Xi Jinping
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Klaus Muhlhahn
Making China Modern: From the Great Qing to Xi Jinping by Klaus Muhlhahn at Abbey's Bookshop,

Making China Modern: From the Great Qing to Xi Jinping

Klaus Muhlhahn


The Belknap Press

Asian history;
Cultural studies;
Black & Asian studies;
Political science & theory;
Economic history


670 pages

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A panoramic survey of China's rise and resilience through war and rebellion, disease and famine, that rewrites China's history for a new generation.

It is tempting to attribute China's recent ascendance to changes in political leadership and economic policy. Making China Modern teaches otherwise. Moving beyond the standard framework of Cold War competition and national resurgence, Klaus Muhlhahn situates twenty-first-century China in the nation's long history of creative adaptation.

In the mid-eighteenth century, when the Qing Empire reached the height of its power, China dominated a third of the world's population and managed its largest economy. But as the Opium Wars threatened the nation's sovereignty from without and the Taiping Rebellion ripped apart its social fabric from within, China found itself verging on free fall. A network of family relations, economic interdependence, institutional innovation, and structures of governance allowed citizens to regain their footing in a convulsing world. In China's drive to reclaim regional centrality, its leaders looked outward as well as inward, at industrial developments and international markets offering new ways to thrive.

This dynamic legacy of overcoming adversity and weakness is apparent today in China's triumphs - but also in its most worrisome trends. Telling a story of crisis and recovery, Making China Modern explores the versatility and resourcefulness that matters most to China's survival, and to its future possibilities.

By:   Klaus Muhlhahn
Imprint:   The Belknap Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780674737358
ISBN 10:   0674737350
Pages:   670
Publication Date:   December 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Klaus Muhlhahn is Professor of Chinese History and Culture and Vice President at the Free University of Berlin. His Criminal Justice in China: A History won the John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History from the American Historical Association. Muhlhahn has published widely on modern Chinese history in English, German, and Chinese and is a frequent commentator on China for the German media.

At last we have a serious introduction to modern China in which the Chinese are the principal architects of their history, drawing upon the ideas and symbols embedded in their own cultural contexts and normative traditions to create distinctive institutions responsive to the crises and opportunities they have encountered. Anyone wanting to understand the importance of contemporary China for our global future should read this important book.--R. Bin Wong, coauthor of Before and Beyond Divergence A remarkable accomplishment. Unlike an earlier generation of scholarship, Making China Modern does not treat China's contemporary transformation as a postscript. It accepts China as a major and active player in the world, places China at the center of an interconnected and global network of engagement, links domestic politics to international dynamics, and seeks to approach China on its own terms.--Wen-hsin Yeh, author of Shanghai Splendor M hlhahn is one of the world's leading historians of modern China. A scholar of breadth and depth across disciplines, he has written a compelling narrative of China's great last empire, the Qing, and of the revolutions and republics that have struggled to succeed it. This thoughtful, probing interpretation is a worthy successor to the famous histories of Fairbank and Spence and will be read by all students and scholars of modern China.--William C. Kirby, coauthor of Can China Lead? A truly important book. Not since Fairbank have we seen such a masterful sweep of traditional, modern, and contemporary history of China thoroughly grounded in Chinese materials and perspectives but eloquently addressed to the interests and concerns of an English-reading public. M hlhahn's narrative will help people anywhere in the world make sense of the China they must deal with today.--Timothy Cheek, author of The Intellectual in Modern Chinese History

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