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The great Chinese Revolution : 1800-1985=1800-1985 / John King Fairbank

Main Author Fairbank, John K., 1907-1991 Country Estados Unidos. Edition 1st ed Publication New York : Harper & Row, 1986 Description XI, 396 p. : il. ; 24 cm ISBN 0-06-039057-3 CDU 951
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Monografia Biblioteca Fernão Mendes Pinto
BFMP 951 - F Não requisitável | Not for loan 451842
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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Fairbank's latest book is a fresh and spritely general survey of Chinese history from 1800. As an architect, editor, and contributor to the Cambridge History of China , Fairbank has maintained a marvelous command over the most recent scholarship. His knowledge, easy style, and own special acerbic commentaries combine to make this book a delight. Fairbank divides his account into four sections: growth and change during the 19th century; the crisis of the old order from 1895 to 1911; and China's two attempts to create a modern nation, the Chinese Republic (1912-49) and the Chinese People's Republic (post-1949). The book is never pedantic, but gathers together a lifetime of scholarship plus a true gift for presentation of complex issues and a fine eye for telling illustration. This will be widely read for decades; highly recommended for most school and public libraries. David D. Buck, History Dept., Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

In a highly readable work of sound scholarship, Fairbank (a general editor of The Cambridge History of China and author of more than 20 books on China) undertakes the daunting task of integrating pre- and postrevolutionary China in a historical overview. Tracing the origins of the Communist revolution of 1949 back to the late imperial era, he claims that the roots of this triumph of Marxist ideology go deep into Chinese tradition and convincingly relegates Western influence to the periphery. He proceeds to an expert analysis of the Manchu dynasty, the warlords (who found both their ultimate expression and death knell in Chiang Kai-shek), Mao's creation of a new state and China under Deng Xiaoping. Insightful and informative, this excellent synthesis of the forces that shaped contemporary China should be basic reading for anyone interested in understanding what the author calls ``a largely unknown country seen from a great distance.'' (September 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


A marvelous ``second book'' on China-one to be read after becoming familiar with some of the historical and cultural landscape. Fairbank's earlier book, The United States and China (1983), is a good place to start, for Fairbank is undoubtedly the single most important scholar in Chinese studies of the 20th century. In this book, he has distilled the thought and wisdom of a lifetime of productive scholarship and teaching. His succinct, almost sparse prose engages the reader in the sweep of revolutionary events that has engulfed China for nearly two centuries. Fairbank continually raises questions. He contrasts Western liberal interpretations of modern China with Marxist interpretations, and then challenges readers to think about China on its own terms. One of the best sections of the book is his analysis and discussion of the reign of Tao-Kuang (1821-1850). Fairbank demonstrates that standard Western interpretations have been flawed and inadequate as a result of their presuppositions and lack of knowledge. The author's assessment of Mao and his role is the most thoughtful and persuasive yet put forth. The chapters on China since 1949 provide new perspective and understanding, especially for those who know something of what has happened. Others may find the material a bit dense. Fairbank's wry humor and lucid style provide both entertainment and insight. An essential addition to any undergraduate library with serious interest in China.-J.H. Bailey, Earlham College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Born in South Dakota, John King Fairbank attended local public schools for his early education. From there he went on first to Exeter, then the University of Wisconsin, and ultimately to Harvard, from which he received his B.A. degree summa cum laude in 1929. That year he traveled to Britain as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1932 he went to China as a teacher and after extensive travel there received his Ph.D. from Oxford University in 1936. Between 1941 and 1946, he was in government service---as a member of the Office of Strategic Services, as special assistant to the U.S. ambassador to China, and finally as director of the U.S. Information Service in China. Excepting those years, beginning in 1936, Fairbank spent his entire career at Harvard University, where he served in many positions, including Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History and director of Harvard's East Asian Research Center. Fairbank, who came to be considered one of the world's foremost authorities on modern Chinese history and Asian-West relations, was committed to reestablishing diplomatic and cultural relations with China. He was also committed to the idea that Americans had to become more conversant with Asian cultures and languages. In his leadership positions at Harvard and as president of the Association for Asian Studies and the American Historical Association, he sought to broaden the bases of expertise about Asia. At the same time, he wrote fluidly and accessibly, concentrating his work on the nineteenth century and emphasizing the relationship between China and the West. At the same time, his writings placed twentieth-century China within the context of a changed and changing global order. It was precisely this understanding that led him to emphasize the reestablishment of American links with China. More than anyone else, Fairbank helped create the modern fields of Chinese and Asian studies in America. His influence on American understanding of China and Asia has been profound. (Bowker Author Biography)

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