Through compelling biographies of a wide range of historical figures, this engaging text presents a panorama of modern Chinese history that illustrates the great social and political changes that have occurred over the past 500 years. Through the lives of both the famous and the obscure, the contributors explore such enduring themes of the flexibility of the definition of "Chinese" in an era of imperialism and revolution, the tremendous transformations in gender relations, and the wide gap between the lives of urban and rural Chinese. Richly researched, these biographies are written in an accessible and appealing style that will engage all readers interested in modern China.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 322 g
Dimensions: 231 x 154 x 17 mm
Combining meticulous scholarship with the accessibility of biography, this volume provides readers with an intriguing means of exploring the meaning of modernity in China. The ten individuals whose life stories are chronicled here are not all extraordinary, but their experiences all reveal a China far different and far more complex than the traditional stereotype of a stagnant society waiting passively for the West to bring its modernizing influence. A lively Manchu princess, an illiterate peasant woman, a nineteenth-century Chinese photographer, the determined students of May Fourth-these are just a sampling of the men and women who bring Chinese history, in all its dynamism and tragedy, to life in these pages. -- Joyce A. Madancy, Union College
A fascinating array of Chinese are profiled in this book, introducing readers to more than four hundred years of history. For anyone interested in how individual women and men-including scholars, courtesans, merchants, factory managers, students, revolutionaries, and domestic workers-experienced and contributed to China's social, intellectual, and political transformations, this volume of essays by established scholars of Chinese studies will open many avenues of inquiry. -- Roger Thompson, Western Washington University
This unique and extremely valuable book beautifully reflects the richness of Chinese social life. The biographies do a superb job of expressing how fundamental changes in China over the past five hundred years affected individuals in a variety of settings. By focusing on the very real human dimensions of Chinese history, the text is superbly equipped to enrich and engage students of China at all levels. -- David Pietz, Washington State University