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Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 2: From 1600 Through the Twentieth Century (Introduction to Asian Civilizations) Paperback – 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0231112710 ISBN-10: 0231112718 Edition: 2nd

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Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 2: From 1600 Through the Twentieth Century (Introduction to Asian Civilizations) + Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 1 + The Cambridge Illustrated History of China
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Product Details

  • Series: Introduction to Asian Civilizations (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; 2nd edition (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231112718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231112710
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If I were asked to recommend only one book for anyone who wishes to know something about Chinese culture, I would name, with a moment of hesitation, this new edition of Sources of Chinese Tradition.

(Ying-shih Yü, Gordon Wu 1958 Professor of Chinese Studies

and professor of history, Princeton University)

About the Author

Wm. Theodore de Bary is John Mitchell Mason Professor Emeritus and Provost Emeritus at Columbia University, and Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities. He has written extensively on Confucianism in East Asia, and is coeditor of the first edition of Sources of Chinese Tradition, as well as Sources of Japanese Tradition and Sources of Korean Tradition. Richard Lufrano is assistant professor of Chinese history at the College of Staten Island and the author of Honorable Merchants: Commerce and Self-Cultivation in Late Imperial China.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Wyote VINE VOICE on May 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've read a little of this and that about Chinese history and religion, and I needed a book to fill in the basics and the details. This was perfect.
First, the selections included excerpts of almost everything I'd ever heard of: Shang Oracle Bones, the Analects of Confucius and the Confucian classics including the I Ching; Mozi; the Tao Te Ching; Zhuangzi (who famously dreamed that he was a butterfly); Mencius; Xunzi; the Zuozhuan; Sun Tzu's art of war; all kinds of stuff about Chinese schools of Buddhism including the Lotus Sutra and the Flower Garden Sutra and the history of Guanyin and Wutai Shan; Li Po (Li Bo) and Tu Fu (Du Fu); and neo-Confucianism (which was so influential in Korea). In short, this is really, practically the "Eatern Canon" and the selections are deserving of such a label. I was in turns morally and intellectually challenged, uplifted, informed and surprised; but rarely bored and never disappointed.
Second, the introductory essays were exactly what I wanted to know: who might have written it, and when, and who read, and what it meant to them. For all that information, they were still brief and the bibliography was sufficient to help me chase the points that left me curious. An important thing these essays did was to cover the political, historical and social backgrounds (and foregrounds) of the texts, so I learned about Chinese history as well as literature and religion. If that is what you want to do, this book will serve you well.
The binding is excellent, and while the price might look steep I have to say it's a bargain considering what you get.
I didn't read Volume Two, and so I don't know if it is as good. It is certainly a lot smaller!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of readings dealing with ancient Chinese history, especially focusing on philosophy and religion. The readings are organized into chapters related to various stages in Chinese history. Early chapters cover antiquity, Confucius, Mo Tzu, and Taoism. Then comes Confucian tradition, the Legalists, the Imperial Order, the Universal Order, and the Economic Order. This is followed by the Great Han Historians, Neo-Taoism, and Buddhism. This volume is rounded out with the Confucian revival and neo-Confucianism. Each chapter begins with a short introduction essay that introduces the context and events of the time and goes to a selection of original texts on the topic at hand. At the beginning of the book is a chronological table of Chinese history from 2852 BC to 1849 AD that highlights various events in Chinese political philosophy.
This book is a great resource for the serious student of Chinese philosophy and culture. The essays and readings provide a unique window into Chinese thought. The authors assume that the reader will have a basic familiarity with the overall picture of Chinese history, and provide many details and insights into why history took the course that it did. I found the reading selections, drawn from such documents as the Analects of Confucius or historical documents like Ma tuan-Lin's Introduction to the Survey on the Land Tax, particularly illuminating. To find so many documents such as these presented in English, together with essays that explain their context and importance, is invaluable for the serious Asian studies scholar.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Layton on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This work is thorough, but at the same time simple and concise. It is essentially a collection of documents that relate to important events in Chinese history with short background sections introducing most works and longer introductions when a new period of history is covered. I believe that this is currently the most complete single volume on the market as it runs from the early 1600's all the way up to 1989, covering the Qing Dynasty, its collapse, the Nationalist Revolution and later the Communist Revolution, up through the ideas behind the Tienanmen Square demonstrations and the modern reevaluation of Confucianism. If you only want one volume on modern Chinese history that focuses on the sources, I think this is probably the one to have.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Zanelli on September 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent for anyone wanting to read primary source information. It is a great help for any college student or proffessor interested in the Chinese Culture. I highly recommend this to any one who is interested in Chinese history.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This second edition of a classic provides an update on a reference recommended for college-level collections specializing in Chinese literature. Sources of Chinese Tradition has been recognized already as a scholarly staple: in its new form Sources of Chinese Tradition has been extended to include the Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin eras of China and includes invaluable source readings on history and literature of the times, from the 18th-century Qing civilization onward.
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