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China: Ancient Culture, Modern Society Hardcover – August 21, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing (August 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160860635X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608606351
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.7 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,662,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bokamba on March 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is a good primer on China for those who are planning to go to China, those who have lived in China but haven't studied it in depth, and those who are simply curious about China's history, culture and present situation.

Yu and Doyle provide a useful overview of many topics crucial to understanding China and the Chinese, in portions sized for a casual reader. For example, in the book's religion section there are separate chapters on Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism and Christianity that are informative but not overwhelmingly detailed. For those whose interest is piqued by a particular topic, the end of each chapter has a list of recommended further reading.

As someone who has lived in China, I think Yu and Doyle have captured the essentials about China and its people well and presented them in a way that will help Westerners (especially Americans) understand and appreciate the history and culture of China.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mi AiLi on August 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book. The book is broken down into short segments about Chinese culture, history, and society. The readability of this book makes it an essential companion if you are planning a trip to China or if you are just interested in the country. This book does not read as a completely academic assessment of China, but one can tell it is based on thorough research and the experiences of the authors. In my opinion, this is the best way to learn about China. These two authors explain what they believe to be the most important facets of China's past, present, and future. Importantly, after each section they point you to a list of books for further research and reading. It is clearly a book written with passion and a general desire to disseminate information about China in a world so fraught with misconceptions.
The first part of the book provides a quick overview of the geography of China. If you often hear about Taiwan and Macau, but do not truly understand their relationship to China and the world, this book is for you. The authors clearly and succinctly cover the histories of these areas, along with the mainland, Hong Kong, and the immigration of Chinese to other areas.
The book then covers the history and heritage of China, focusing on Chinese practices such as painting, literature, calligraphy, medicine, and the calendar. These are incredibly interesting chapters and really provide a look into the important elements of Chinese culture.
A thorough explanation of belief systems follows. Although brief in comparison to the amount of material out there, this section really hits the nail on the head by explaining the different religions in general, and not in detail.
The last section is perhaps the most interesting.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
This is just wha5 I wanted. A concise history of China without excessive detaail. The print is large enough and the paper is good. It does require intense concentration and a good memory. My only criticism is the lack of maps which would make understanding geographical concepts much easier. I highly recommend it.
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By Derrick on July 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good INTRODUCTURY book on everything there is to know about China and thoughts that influences her culture.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lorenz quinley on October 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After living in China for half a year, I would say that although this book gives a quick overview of history, many of the conclusion particularly on culture are too general. Chapter Four, China Today and Tomorrow, seems to me to be written by someone who hasn't really experienced life in China. I found many of the stereotypes that Americans have about Chinese not to be applicable - for example, China office culture in many ways is much more relaxed than American office culture. This "relaxed culture" extends from everything to how people dress, how they address their superiors, and how they approach deadlines etc. The book paints the culture in really broad strokes and I found this section not that helpful at all.
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More About the Author

G. Wright Doyle ("Wright") spent a year in Taiwan as a boy. After school, he and his buddies hiked through jungles and climbed mountains, where they encountered water buffaloes and cobras. Ever since then, Wright has had a love for Chinese culture. China:Ancient Culture, Modern Society, reflects this fascination with things Chinese.

In 1976, he and his wife Dori went to Taiwan to begin studying Mandarin. From 1980 to 1988, he taught New Testament and Greek at China Evangelical Seminary in Taipei. They have lived in Charlottesville, Virginia, since 1989, but have continued to return to Asia frequently.

Reaching Chinese Worldwide, released in 2013, is a unique introduction to Christian ministry among Chinese. It reflects forty years of reading about Christian witness among the Chinese and thirty-eight years of experience.

Carl Henry: Theologian for All Seasons, resulted from meeting Dr. Henry in 1980, and then reading God, Revelation, and Authority several times.

Wise Man from the East: Lit-sen Chang (Zhang Lisheng)contains a translation by Wright of this great Chinese theologian's Critique of Indigenous Theology and a translation of Critique of Humanism by Dr. Samuel Ling. Though he died in 1996, Chang continues to speak with relevance and power today. Wright gave four lectures on his thought at Holy Light Theological Seminary, Taiwan, in 2013.

Wright has lectured at universities in China, Taiwan, the U.S., and England. He has also taught in Chinese-language seminaries in Taiwan and the U.S.

Wright is often asked,"Is the United States a Christian country?" by Chinese intellectuals. He wrote Christianity in America: Triumph and Tragedy to answer that question, and to explore the many ways in which Christianity secular culture have influenced each other over the past four hundred years.

For many years, Wright suffered from chronic illness, including mild depression. The Lord's Healing Words contains principles from the Bible that he has tried to apply to his own life, and which have played a large part in the good health he has enjoyed since 2004.

Convinced the modern men need good models of real manhood, in Jesus: The Complete Man, he has described the "complete man" - Jesus - as he related to himself, others, and God the Father, and shows how his teaches and example can inspire men today.

You can find articles and book reviews about China and Christianity by Wright at and He serves as General Editor for the Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity (, a rich collection of stories about Chinese and foreign Christians in China over the past several hundred years.

He loves to walk in the woods and the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville; listen to music; and eat the whole wheat blueberry muffins sold at Whole Foods.

He is Director of Global China Center ( and of China Institute (

Wright's travels have taken him to Europe, Africa, much of North America, Mexico, China, and India, and he has worked at a variety of different jobs. His formal education includes a B.A. with Honors in Latin from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; an M.Div with Honors from the Virginia Theological Seminary; and a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina.

Since childhood, his adventures have included meeting John Wayne and Vice President Richard Nixon; two near-disasters when flying in airplanes whose engines had died; narrowly escaping being gored by a killer bull; rescuing a woman from a drunken, knife-wielding Dutchman on a ferry from England; hitch-hiking from North Carolina to Arizona; nearly being blown up in the Victoria train station in Bombay (as it was then called); driving a jeep with failing brakes as it careened down a mountain road; and many more.

Wright's books in Chinese (composed in English for translation by Chinese) include: Hope Deferred ( studies in Christianity and American culture); Confucius & Christ (on the ideal man); The Way Home: A Faith for the 21st Century; The Lord's Healing Words; A Greek-Chinese Lexicon of the New Testament; The "Switzerland" of the New Testament (a commentary on Paul's letter to the Ephesians); New Testament Reference Works; an abridgment of Carl Henry's God, Revelation, & Authority (volumes 1-4); and an autobiography.