This is an impressive survey history of the Tang dynasty, concise and accessible. China's Cosmopolitan Empire is written so succinctly and clearly that it provides, to my knowledge, the best summary of the Tang period yet available in English. It will make an excellent source for the general student of Chinese or East Asian history. (David L. McMullen, University of Cambridge)
[A] readable introduction to the Tang Dynasty. (J. K. Skaff Choice 2010-05-01)
This series on China, brilliantly overseen by Timothy Brook, is a credit to Harvard University Press. Above all, it encourages us to think of China in different ways. (Jonathan Mirsky Literary Review 2010-11-01)
In China's Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty, Mark Edward Lewis has done a superb job of synthesizing the scholarship on the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and rendering it into a readable account. Professor Lewis's general narrative of Tang history, chapters two and three of the book, is the best overview of Tang history in any language, and would be a good starting point for anyone interested in the dynasty...There is a large corpus of scholarship in English on Tang dynasty history and culture. China's Cosmopolitan Empire is an admirable addition to that corpus. It will undoubtedly become the standard survey in English for the foreseeable future. (Peter Lorge Journal of Military History 2011-01-01)
With clarity and rich details, sustained by quotes, anecdotes, poems, and visual images, Lewis brings to life the vitality of a transforming China in geography, politics, urban life, rural society, the outer world, kinship, religion, and writing, all in comparison with previous times...Lewis's nuanced details of a changing Tang are direct challenges to the dated but still influential views of China as an unchanging Sinocentric empire, uninterested in commerce and foreign contact. (Yihong Pan China Review International 2009-05-01)
Lewis' book will be of great interest and utility to general readers as well as students who are looking for a lucid overview of Tang history and culture. (Michael R. Drompp Journal of Asian History 2010-10-01)
Mark Edward Lewis has produced an impressive volume on the history of the Tang dynasty...Its greatest contribution is its integration of the latest secondary scholarship into interesting arguments about the evolution of Chinese society between the seventh and tenth centuries...This book remains an excellent place to see the latest insights into Tang history. It is a thought-provoking effort to synthesize that work and reflect on the significance of the Tang for China's history. If it inspires the next generation of students to pursue Tang history seriously, Lewis will have made a real contribution to Tang studies. (Anthony DeBlasi Journal of Asian Studies 2010-05-01)
About the Author
Mark Edward Lewis is Kwoh-Ting Li Professor in Chinese Culture at Stanford University.
Timothy Brook is Professor of History and Republic of China Chair at the University of British Columbia.