From Library Journal
No American scholar of China was better known to the public and academia alike than Fairbank. This history of China, completed two days before his death in 1991, is a fitting final work. In covering the breadth of the country's history, from the earliest archaeological records to the present, the author is occasionally short on details, but lay readers and undergraduate students will appreciate the perceptive analysis and explanation throughout, leading to a better understanding of this complex nation, its people, and its importance in the world. Furthermore, Fairbank's command of recent research, along with an excellent bibliography, will appeal to the scholarly audience. Highly recommended. History Book Club selection.
- Kenneth W. Berger, Duke Univ. Lib., Durham, N.C.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
China sets out to cover, in 432 pages of text, the entire span of China's history from the Paleolithic cultures...to the Tiananmen massacre of 1989, and it does so with a brisk and sprightly air but also with an awesomely thorough overview of the current scholarly work of scores of historians. The book is indeed a kind of reprise...of Fairbank's life as a reader and teacher...An admirable achievement. (Jonathan Spence New York Times Book Review)
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One has to admire the smooth self-assurance with which Fairbank lopes through the centuries, effortlessly incorporating the latest and best in English-language scholarship, and he is, of course, hard to beat on the Republican period, to which he himself was a witness. (T. H. Barrett Times Literary Supplement)
History, Fairbank says, is what we historians think happened, and this volume is Fairbank's distillation of what he thinks happened in China from the time of Beijing man some 400,000 years ago to the Beijing massacre of June 4, 1989. It is an ambitious, audacious undertaking, befitting the man who was the progenitor of modern China studies in the United States. (Anne F. Thurston Boston Globe)
[This book] elegantly synthesizes a prodigious range of recent scholarship and is equally ambitious in chronological sweep...The result is a multilayered, multicausal extravaganza, dealing with cosmology, economics, state institutions, social forces, even daily life--a kind of `All under Heaven under one cover"...Anything but pedantic, it bubbles with relaxed wit. (Paul M. Evans Globe and Mail)
Manages to tell its sprawling, turbulent, 4,000-year story in a single volume without either losing clarity or oversimplifying its subject...Rich and fascinating. (Arnold R. Isaacs San Francisco Chronicle)
Will serve for decades to come as a standard reference and textbook. (Robert L. Worden Washington Post Book World)
This remarkable New History from the hand of the doyen of historians of China, John King Fairbank...bears eloquent witness to the depth and breadth of his knowledge and understanding. This is no mere reworking of generally accepted ideas of developments in China under successive dynasties. Here is a fertile enquiring mind at work, keeping pace with a flood of new research...He writes here with an easy authority, with zip and zing, and sometimes the use of the first person, challenging and stimulating. (Victor Funnell Asian Affairs)
A scholarly but readable introduction to the broad sweep of Chinese history. (David Mattin The Times 2004-01-22)
Succinct, highly readable and "down to earth," this updated version of Fairbank's last work combines the erudition born of a half-century of scholarship with the educator's sense of relevancy and organization...China: A New History provides the general reader and students with a highly accessible and readable introduction to the vast history of one of the world's oldest surviving civilizations...Overall, this text is a fitting culmination to an exemplary life devoted to both teaching and research. (Jeffrey Dippmann Education about Asia 1999-10-01)