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Berkshire Encyclopedia of China (5-volume set, 2,800 pages) Library Binding – May 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 2800 pages
  • Publisher: Berkshire Publishing Grou; 1st edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977015947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977015948
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 20.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,102,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—More than 300 experts in diverse fields cover key aspects of the country's past and present in 800 concise articles. Abundant photos, vignette drawings, proverbs, headings and parts of entries in pinyin and Chinese characters, and attractive layout more than compensate for matte (partly recycled) paper, occasionally inadequate maps, and missing color (available only in the online subscription version, which is free for a year with the purchase of the set). The editors have not skirted sensitive areas, including such topics as intellectual property, human rights, Tibet, treatment of homosexuals, and Internet filtering. Material on trade, industry, politics, and the like is almost as plentiful as that on history, geography, and culture. The material is generally readable and assumes little foreknowledge. Unfortunately, the list of articles that opens each book does not indicate volume numbers, and there are no in-text cross-references. There are a few caption errors (Suzhou is misidentified as Shanghai, for example) and minor indexing flaws. Overall, though, the achievement of this ambitious work is admirable, and the promise of online updating is heartening.—Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI END

Review

At five volumes, this is possibly the largest publication in Berkshire's history. Arranged alphabetically, the nearly 1000 articles cover an extensive array of subjects as they relate to China. Among those explored are the country's history (both ancient and modern), politicians, architecture, food, international relations, and medicine. Varying in length from one to more than ten pages, the articles are thorough without being overly complicated. Titles are printed in English, Chinese, and a transliterated pronunciation of the Chinese word. The editors appear to have delivered on a promise in the introduction to minimize the cultural bias about various subjects. Most of the 300-plus contributors come from a variety of academic fields. One drawback is that the first page of each article has its text printed over a grayscale picture. Although attractive, this feature sometimes makes the pages difficult to read. BOTTOM LINE This insightful analysis of China may be a useful companion to David Levinson and Karen Christensen's Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. It could provide valuable information to anyone studying the country and is thus recommended to all public or academic institutions with an interest in China. [Purchasers of the print set get a free one-year individual license (or comparable discount from the institutional license) to a digital edition hosted by ExactEditions.com.] James Langan, Univ. of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Lib. --Library Journal<br /><br />Gr 10 Up More than 300 experts in diverse fields cover key aspects of the country s past and present in 800 concise articles. Abundant photos, vignette drawings, proverbs, headings and parts of entries in pinyin and Chinese characters, and attractive layout more than compensate for matte (partly recycled) paper, occasionally inadequate maps, and missing color (available only in the online subscription version, which is free for a year with the purchase of the set). The editors have not skirted sensitive areas, including such topics as intellectual property, human rights, Tibet, treatment of homosexuals, and Internet filtering. Material on trade, industry, politics, and the like is almost as plentiful as that on history, geography, and culture. The material is generally readable and assumes little foreknowledge. Unfortunately, the list of articles that opens each book does not indicate volume numbers, and there are no in-text cross-references. There are a few caption errors (Suzhou is misidentified as Shanghai, for example) and minor indexing flaws. Overall, though, the achievement of this ambitious work is admirable, and the promise of online updating is heartening. Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George s School, Newport, RI --Library Journal, School Library Journal<br /><br />Knowledgeably compiled and professionally edited by the team of Linsun Cheng, Kerry Brown, Winberg Chai, and Joan Lebold Cohen, this five-volume, 2800 page encyclopedic compendium of information features almost one thousand informed and informative articles contributed by outstanding scholars from China and around the world covering a complete spectrum of issues ranging from the geopolitical role of China in the modern world, to adoption practices, to the Zhou Dynasty, to it literary, artistic, religious, financial, and cultural contributions. The "Berkshire Encyclopedia of China" contains both comprehensively broad and thematic essays, as well as short categorical entries focused on people, events, organizations, festivals, sports, and all other aspects required for a sound understanding of China and its people. Of special note is the up to date information on China in the information age of computers, blogs, and the Internet. Of special note is that each individual article can easily be photocopied making it an ideal curriculum resource for classroom instruction. --Midwest Book Review

This first multi-volume multi-authored encyclopedia about China ever published outside of China offers exceptional complexity and outstanding content. It has super inclusions some eight hundred articles, and is written by more than three hundred well-known Chinese and Western scholars. The content is such that it discusses China years back, more than five thousand, and sometimes even more ancient than that. Every one of these articles is titled in English, in Chinese characters, with a pinyin transliteration, and with tone marks. Every article ends with a section titled: Further Reading. Accompanying them are more than twelve hundred photographs, all black and white, many maps, lots of tables, timetables, sidebars, and so much more. This invaluable five-volume reference set covers topics in the arts, belief systems, business, cuisine, and so much more. This is an important first, and accepting that, they plan to do one or more revisions over time. So do suggest items and ideas to them for future inclusion. Knowing the paucity of information about China, the publisher will allow ten copies of up to three articles for use in a single course or classroom. Furthermore, they have every article beginning on its own page, each one has adequate margins and can be copied on a standard-size page making it easy to copy and valuable as handouts. The Chinese consider odd numbers male, and though this is the last item and an odd number in this issue of items reviewed, it is a strong choice for you to consider as a wonderful holiday gift to yourself and to others. It is not intended as the tale that wags the dog, rather as the dog barking out saying purchase me! If I did not have a copy, thanks to the generosity of the publisher, it would be first on my gift to me holiday gift list. I know of no better present to enjoy, use, and pour over for the holidays and every day thereafter. - Jacqueline M Newman, editor-in chief of Flavor & Fortune, On Our Bookshelves review in the Winter 2009 Issue of Flavor & Fortune --Flavor & Fortune

Gr 10 Up More than 300 experts in diverse fields cover key aspects of the country s past and present in 800 concise articles. Abundant photos, vignette drawings, proverbs, headings and parts of entries in pinyin and Chinese characters, and attractive layout more than compensate for matte (partly recycled) paper, occasionally inadequate maps, and missing color (available only in the online subscription version, which is free for a year with the purchase of the set). The editors have not skirted sensitive areas, including such topics as intellectual property, human rights, Tibet, treatment of homosexuals, and Internet filtering. Material on trade, industry, politics, and the like is almost as plentiful as that on history, geography, and culture. The material is generally readable and assumes little foreknowledge. Unfortunately, the list of articles that opens each book does not indicate volume numbers, and there are no in-text cross-references. There are a few caption errors (Suzhou is misidentified as Shanghai, for example) and minor indexing flaws. Overall, though, the achievement of this ambitious work is admirable, and the promise of online updating is heartening. Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George s School, Newport, RI --Library Journal, School Library Journal

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Format: Library Binding
Knowledgeably compiled and professionally edited by the team of Linsun Cheng, Kerry Brown, Winberg Chai, and Joan Lebold Cohen, this five-volume, 2800 page encyclopedic compendium of information features almost one thousand informed and informative articles contributed by outstanding scholars from China and around the world covering a complete spectrum of issues ranging from the geopolitical role of China in the modern world, to adoption practices, to the Zhou Dynasty, to it literary, artistic, religious, financial, and cultural contributions. The "Berkshire Encyclopedia of China" contains both comprehensively broad and thematic essays, as well as short categorical entries focused on people, events, organizations, festivals, sports, and all other aspects required for a sound understanding of China and its people. Of special note is the up to date information on China in the information age of computers, blogs, and the Internet. Of special note is that each individual article can easily be photocopied making it an ideal curriculum resource for classroom instruction. The use of English, Chinese characters and Pinyin transliteration with tone marks further enhances the value of the "Berkshire Encyclopedia of China" for students of the Chinese language. Presenting an encyclopedic reference from a distinctively Chinese perspective, profusely enhanced throughout with illustrations, maps, timelines, sidebars, and even traditional Chinese proverbs, the "Berkshire Encyclopedia of China" is a core reference which is highly recommended for personal, professional, academic, and community library International Studies collections in general, and Chinese Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists in particular.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Berkshire Publishing Group on December 23, 2009
Format: Library Binding
This first multi-volume multi-authored encyclopedia about China ever published outside of China offers exceptional complexity and outstanding content. It has super inclusions, some eight hundred articles, and is written by more than three hundred well-known Chinese and Western scholars. The content is such that it discusses China years back, more than five thousand, and sometimes even more ancient than that.

Every one of these articles is titled in English, in Chinese characters, with a pinyin transliteration, and with tone marks. Every one of them ends with a section titled Further Reading. Accompanying them are more than twelve hundred photographs, all black and white, many maps, lots of tables, timetables, side bars, and so much more.

This invaluable five-volume reference set covers topics in the arts, belief systems, business, cuisine, and so much more. This is an important first, and accepting that, they plan to do one or more revisions over time. So do suggest items and ideas to them for future inclusion.

Knowing the paucity of information about China, the publisher will allow ten copies of up to three articles for use in a single course or classroom. Furthermore, they have every article beginning on its own page, each one has adequate margins and can be copied on a standard-size page making it easy to copy and valuable as handouts.

The Chinese consider odd numbers male, and though this is the last item and an odd number in this issue of items reviewed, it is a strong choice for you to consider as a wonderful holiday gift to yourself and to others. It is not intended as the tale that wags the dog, rather as the dog barking out saying `purchase me!
Read more ›
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
Ordered used -good condition, saved 400 bucks. Turns out these books arrive, looks like they'd never been read or opened. Brand spanking new.

And yes, its a vast, deep resource of information. Maybe a bit overboard, but I'm taking Mandarin in college and hoping to spend two semesters in China next year, so I bought this in the hopes I can plow through a good bit of it before I head over there so I'll be at least knowledgeable about the culture I'm visiting, especially since, even now, information on China is so sparse in general American culture.

So anyway. Fantastic looking set of books, can't complain at all, and if you are looking to get them but that 700 dollar price tag is terrifying you, get the used copies, anecdotally there's not a lick of difference between new and used.
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