Modern China: A Very Short Introduction

OUP Oxford
7
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China today is never out of the news: from human rights controversies and the continued legacy of Tiananmen Square, to global coverage of the Beijing Olympics, and the Chinese 'economic miracle'. It seems a country of contradictions: a peasant society with some of the world's most futuristic cities, heir to an ancient civilization that is still trying to find a modern identity. This Very Short Introduction offers the reader with no previous knowledge of China a variety of ways to understand the world's most populous nation, giving a short, integrated picture of modern Chinese society, culture, economy, politics and art. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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About the author

Rana Mitter is University Lecturer in the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of St Cross College. He is the author of The Manchurian Myth: Nationalism, Resistance and Collaboration in Modern China (California, 2000), and A Bitter Revolution: China's Struggle with the Modern World (OUP, 2004), for which he won the title Times Higher Young Academic Author of the Year 2005. The book was also runner-up for the Longman/History Today Book of the Year prize, a finalist for the British Academy Book Prize, and named by Foreign Affairs as one of five " Notable Books on China. He presents and comments regularly on radio and television, and his reviews and essays have appeared in the Financial Times, History Today, and London Review of Books.
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Reviews

4.4
7 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Feb 28, 2008
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Pages
168
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ISBN
9780191578793
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / International / General
History / Asia / China
History / Asia / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
Social Science / Human Geography
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Frank Dikötter
An unprecedented, groundbreaking history of China's Great Famine that recasts the era of Mao Zedong and the history of the People's Republic of China.

"Between 1958 and 1962, China descended into hell. Mao Zedong threw his country into a frenzy with the Great Leap Forward, an attempt to catch up to and overtake Britain in less than 15 years The experiment ended in the greatest catastrophe the country had ever known, destroying tens of millions of lives." So opens Frank Dikötter's riveting, magnificently detailed chronicle of an era in Chinese history much speculated about but never before fully documented because access to Communist Party archives has long been restricted to all but the most trusted historians. A new archive law has opened up thousands of central and provincial documents that "fundamentally change the way one can study the Maoist era." Dikötter makes clear, as nobody has before, that far from being the program that would lift the country among the world's superpowers and prove the power of Communism, as Mao imagined, the Great Leap Forward transformed the country in the other direction. It became the site not only of "one of the most deadly mass killings of human history,"--at least 45 million people were worked, starved, or beaten to death--but also of "the greatest demolition of real estate in human history," as up to one-third of all housing was turned into rubble). The experiment was a catastrophe for the natural world as well, as the land was savaged in the maniacal pursuit of steel and other industrial accomplishments. In a powerful mesghing of exhaustive research in Chinese archives and narrative drive, Dikötter for the first time links up what happened in the corridors of power-the vicious backstabbing and bullying tactics that took place among party leaders-with the everyday experiences of ordinary people, giving voice to the dead and disenfranchised. His magisterial account recasts the history of the People's Republic of China.
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