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China in world history Hardcover – 1988


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Hardcover, 1988
$31.60
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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 422 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312005067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312005061
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,367,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

S.A.M. ADSHEAD is Professor Emeritus in History at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was educated at Stowe School and Christ Church, Oxford, and studied Chinese History at Harvard University. He is the author of The Modernization of the Chinese Salt Administration, Province and Politics in Late Imperial China, Salt and Civilization, Central Asia in World History and The Philosophy of History in Nineteenth-Century England and Beyond. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By s hu on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was originally attracted by the title of the book, but when I browsed through the first chapter a couple of years ago, I became skeptical of its structure, which seemed to be a Procrustes' bed. How could one fit such a broad subject in such a nice way? Recently I started to read it more carefully, because I planned to write on the same subject. I cannot put this book down. I have not been impressed by an author's erudition, originality, insights, and wisdom for a long time. Among numerous experts, I count Adshead among a mere handful of masters. This book has a huge impact on me. On the one hand, it will make it difficult for me to come up with better things to say; on the other, it will guide my research and inspire my interests. No doubt, I will quote him in the future. I had never written a review on the Amazon, but when I realized that he is an emeritus professor, I thought that I would be remiss if I did not express my appreciation for his work. Thank you, Prof. Adshead!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DaLaoHu on January 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
I don't know whether it was because I was in more familiar territory reading this book or whether it was because the author was in more familiar territory writing it, but I enjoyed this book much more than Inner Asia in World History -- although the author still annoys me with two bad habits: he throws around ten-dollar words like candy at a parade, and he bombards you with obscure references until your mind simply evaporates under the strain of trying to keep up with them.

This guy is an idea man. He's not very good at explaining the details he assaults you with, but he is a master at connecting the dots between various historical eras and venues. And not just the major dots either, but seemingly all of the tiny dots in between. In fact, this is more a book about world history than about China per se.

Just a couple of examples. On page 296 he references a letter by a French priest describing the labor process in the manufacture of Chinese porcelain and cites it as a possible source for Adam Smith's concept of the "division of labor." Then on page 371 he cites an account of drilling for brine in Sichuan province as a possible source for the first commercial drilling of oil in Pennsylvania. And these aren't just isolated examples. It seems like every page contains one or two of these surprising little revelations.

Which leads to an obvious question: Can one man really know so much about seemingly everything that has happened in the last two or three millenia? Either this man has one of the most brilliant minds in the world or he is an utter sham. But since I can't point my finger at anything to prove he is a sham -- and in some of the areas he covers I do have more than just a passing knowledge -- I have to conclude that it is more likely the former.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Adshead covers, from a Sinocentric perspective, much of the history and sociology of Eurasia over the last three or four millenia in one of the most succinctly argued books I've ever read. You'll find one or two jaw-dropping insights on every page.
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By Stephen Austin on February 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm grateful for this book, as I threw away my four years of Chinese History lecture notes years ago. Each one hour lecture took four hours to type up, as they were packed full of fact, mixed with compelling, and revealing conclusions.

I know I will refer to this work often for many years to come, a brilliant introduction to China, and History, if you are looking for one.

Even if you are familar with other works touching on this theme, you will continue to find this a generous banquet.

One is grateful for an historian who neglected to attend departmental meetings, and simply got on with the job. An inspiring read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book as much as I did "Perilous Passage"(of India)by Bagchi. Incidentally both books were recommended personally by historians at Duke University in separate occasion after they had found out my particular interest in the global history.
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