China: A History
Keay (John)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.
Colour-ConventionsDisclaimerBooks / Papers Citing this Book

BOOK ABSTRACT:

Back Cover Blurb

  1. Despite China’s influence on the world stage, many of us are ignorant of the incredible history of this vast, complex country. Yet it is this rich past - of appalling loss, superhuman endeavour and unsuspected invention - that defines and explains the modern superpower.
  2. From Confucius to Mao, and from the dawn of legend through the succession of dynasties to the clamour of revolution and the slick capitalism of today, John Keay offers a compelling account of the world’s largest and least understood nation. Informed by the latest research, enlivened by anecdote and enriched by provocative comparisons, the narrative spans three thousand years of extraordinary achievement and covers every region of China - from the great urban centres to the remotest outposts. Authoritative, yet questioning, this is the definitive and indispensable account of a country set to play a major part in our future.
  3. ‘As John Keay’s ambitious new book makes clear ... China’s history is intoxicatingly interesting and is sure to keep us on the edge of our geopolitical seats’
    Independent on Sunday
  4. ‘There is no understanding China, present or future, without a sense of its past... Anybody fascinated by the puzzle of what comes next for our frail, perplexed planet will find unexpected answers in this crisp, often witty chronicle of amazements’
    → Peter Preston, Observer

Contents
    List of Illustrations – xiii
    List of Maps and Diagrams – xvii
    Acknowledgements – xix
    INTRODUCTION
    → Rewriting the past – 1
    → Spadework – 5
    → Cradle, core and beyond – 10
    → The dynastic dynamic – 15
    → The triumph of Pinyin – 17
    → A matter of scale – 20
  1. RITES TO WRITING, PRE c. 1050 BC
    → The Great Beginning – 25
    → Glint of bronze – 31
    → Finding family – 38
    → In the oracular – 42
  2. SAGES AND HEROES, c. 1050-c. 250 BC
    → Footprints of Zhou – 50
    → Less spring than autumn – 60
    → The Confucian conveyance – 66
    → Warring states and statist wars – 71
  3. THE FIRST EMPIRE, c. 250-210 BC
    → Stone Cattle Road – 80
    → Qin’s cultural revolution – 88
    → Crumbling wall, hidden tomb – 97
  4. HAN ASCENDANT, 210-141 BC
    → Qin implodes – 106
    → Pawn to king – 111
    → Jaded monarchs – 118
    → China: A History
  5. WITHIN AND BEYOND, 141 BC-AD 1
    → Han and Hun
    → Explorer Zhang and the Western Regions
    → Administering an empire
    → Confucian fundamentalism – 128
  6. WANG SLANG AND THE HAN REPRISE, AD 1-189
    → A one-man dynasty – 156
    → Across the watershed – 164
    → Decline and fall – 174
  7. FOUR HUNDRED YEARS OF VICISSITUDE, 189-550
    → Three Kingdoms and the Red Cliffs – 184
    → Dao and the Celestial Masters – 192
    → Enter the Enlightened One – 198
    → Into the abyss – 203
    → Luoyang again – 210
  8. SUI, TANG AND THE SECOND EMPIRE, 550-650
    → Intercalary conjunction – 216
    → Sui-cide – 224
    → Sons of the sunset and the sunrise – 233
    → Beyond the Jade Gate – 239
  9. HIGH TANG, 650-755
    → Wanton, not wayward – 246
    → The greatest power in Asia – 259
    → Like a breath of spring – 267
    → A turning point – 273
  10. RECONFIGURING THE EMPIRE, 755-1005
    → Low Tang – 279
    → Five Dynasties or Ten Kingdoms – 290
    → Song and Liao – 300
  11. CAVING IN, 1005-1235
    → The Great State of White and High – 308
    → Reform and reappraisal – 314
    → In Singing-girl Towers – 321
    → Jin and Song – 327
  12. BY LAND AND SEA, 1235-1405
    → Sunset of the Song – 341
    → Mongol reunification – 350
    → Mongol misadventures – 361
    → Triumph of the Ming – 369
  13. THE RITES OF MING, 1405-1620
    → From the edge of the sky to the ends of the earth – 376
    → Misadventures and misfortunes – 386
    → The Great Rites Controversy – 393
    → Landmarks and inroads – 402
  14. THE MANCHU CONQUEST, 1620-1760 –
    → Overwhelming Ming – 410
    → From Jurchen to Manchu – 420
    → Much in demand – 431
    → Zungharia, Xinjiang and Tibet – 437
  15. DEATH THROES OF EMPIRE, 1760-1880
    → Self-evident truths – 446
    → Insults and opium – 455
    → Taiping and Tianjin – 467
  16. REPUBLICANS AND NATIONALISTS, 1880-1950
    → Brush to pen – 480
    → From empire to republic – 490
    → War and more war – 499
    → Long March, long war – 507
  17. Epilogue – 517
    Notes – 537
    Bibliography – 549
    Index – 561

Notes
BOOK COMMENT:

Harper Press; UK edition (25 July 2009). Paperback.



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2022
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



© Theo Todman, June 2007 - Jan 2022. Please address any comments on this page to theo@theotodman.com. File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page