In a fine, well-written study, Rowe brings the latest scholarship in Qing history to a wide audience. This book reflects a lifetime of reading in the field, and is written in the fluent manner of an accomplished and very successful author. Responsible and judicious, it makes an important contribution to our understanding of Chinese history. (R. Kent Guy, University of Washington)
Here is a new narrative for Chinese history. It is based on the path-breaking scholarship of a small body of principally American scholars who have shown that after the non-Han Manchus conquered the Ming in 1644, traditional China was gradually replaced by something very different. This meant that the previous explanations, emanating from the Harvard school, led by the persuasive John King Fairbank, which emphasized a succession of essentially unchanging dynasties, must be abandoned...In short, as Professor Rowe sets out in this important book, "the inward-looking and hermetic Celestial Empire" has vanished and something far more interesting has come convincingly before us. (Jonathan Mirsky Times Literary Supplement
A very fine book, drawing on the best new scholarship on this pivotal period in Chinese history. (K. E. Stapleton Choice
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
About the Author
William T. Rowe is John and Diane Cooke Professor of Chinese History at Johns Hopkins University.
Timothy Brook is Professor of History and Republic of China Chair at the University of British Columbia.