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This Is China: The First 5,000 Years (This World of Ours) 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1933782201
ISBN-10: 193378220X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

It is hard to imagine that such a short book can cover such a vast span of time and space. This Is China: The First 5,000 Years will help teachers, students, and general readers alike, as they seek for a preliminary guide to the contexts and complexities of Chinese culture. --Jonathan Spence, professor of history, Yale University; author of The Search for Modern China

Packs about as much of the panorama of the Chinese experience into a single volume as is physically possible. --Dan Burstein, managing partner, Millennium Technology Ventures; author of Big Dragon

This is a gem. It is a reference that everyone who teaches, writes, or thinks about China should have close at hand. Don t be caught without this book. --Ronald Suleski, professor and director, Rosenberg Institute for East Asian Studies, Suffolk University

Packs about as much of the panorama of the Chinese experience into a single volume as is physically possible. --Dan Burstein, managing partner, Millennium Technology Ventures; author of Big Dragon

This is a gem. It is a reference that everyone who teaches, writes, or thinks about China should have close at hand. Don t be caught without this book. --Ronald Suleski, professor and director, Rosenberg Institute for East Asian Studies, Suffolk University

About the Author

Haiwang Yuan, now a U.S. citizen, came from China to the states in 1988 as a Fulbright student and graduated from Indiana University at Bloomington with a history and a library science degree by 1995. Yuan has been a member of the Department of Library Public Services faculty, Western Kentucky University, since 1997, where he is now Professor and Special Assistant to the Dean of Libraries. He now serves on the Board of Chinese American Librarians Association.

Haiwang Yuan served as an associate editor of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of China (2009); he was a major contributor to the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture (Routledge, 2004) and Theories and Practices of American Libraries in the Twenty-First Century (Beijing Library Press, 2007). He is the author of Princess Peacock: Tales from the Other Peoples of China (Libraries Unlimited, 2008), The Magic Lotus Lantern and Other Tales from the Han Chinese (Libraries Unlimited, 2006), Virtual Libraries Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Huayi, Beijing, 2002), and co-author of Celebrate Chinese New Year, Holidays around the World Series (National Geographic, 2009). Over two dozen of Yuan s professional articles have appeared in international, national, and regional journals.

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Product Details

  • Series: This World of Ours
  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Berkshire Publishing; 1st edition (April 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193378220X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933782201
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Just got back from 6 days in Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Read this book just before my visit and gave me a very good insight of where China has come from and where it is going. A bit overweighted on the history of imperial china. Last 1/3rd to 1/2 excellent summary of recent history and the cultural issues in historic context as Communist China evolves into an economic, consumer superpower.
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There are few countries with as long histories as China. "This is China: The First 5,000 Years" looks at the nation's long history through its early first unions through the Cultural revolution and Communist rule. Dealing with only the basics, Haiwang Yuan gives readers a need to know introductory to Chinese history with plenty of advice on what else to read along the way. "This is China" is a top pick for anyone who wants a more complete understanding of the history of China.
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This is a great introduction to the overall picture of the China that is being presented to the world today. If you are a student in an AP World History class, this should help create a simplistic model for the nation (I love the Dynasty Song). I think that it is wise for any reader to understand that trying to boil China's history down is as hard as nailing jello to a wall. The book acknowledges this, and does an excellent job of creating a historical outline based on current world history interpretations. I like that fact that it is short, concise, and not pretentious. I give kudos to Berkshire Publishing for producing another quality book worthy of use by classroom teachers as a supplemental reading (David Christian's, This Fleeting World is another useful book). If you already have a strong background in Chinese history this probably won't be a good fit for you, though it might be a quick read. This book is short (120 pages), so there is no grand thesis to analyze here. That doesn't mean that it is without any bias since it would be impossible to view a nation as young as the U.S.A. that has only been around for 235 years, let alone a nation 5000 years plus in the making.
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I don't know much about the Chinese Dynasties. I'm half way through the book and am starting the chapter about the Republic and onward. As someone with little knowledge about China, this book has been a great read and very informative. I highly recommend it to anyone hoping to learn a bit about China.
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A rather good synpnosis in limited pages on the vast history of China. The writer has a reasonably neutral position to look at the politics and philosophy of the Chinese. The insert of Chinese character was particularly good to remind the Chinese reader who the historical figure and the theme of philosophy that has dominated China for the millenniums. However, editing of the placement (of the Chinese character) was particularly poor. They are inserted in the wrong places under a different name/translation in the same page. The effect is most damaging for a precise little history book.
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I was disappointed with this book, although I tried to assess it in a favourable light. Too skimpy (yes, yes, I know it is just a very short introduction, I complain about the contents, not their length), too biased, obviously trying to deliver a message of sympathy for China (an introductory History book, no matter how short, would do better keeping a certain neutrality, I believe). Not so well organized and clearly aimed at a different kind of public, other than adult and more or less learned.

Still, the idea is not bad and they could make it work, but it needs a major remake. Maybe a second edition would do? I hope so.
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This book is way too shallow, even considering its intent of being a fast read. There is not a thread in this book, just a bunch of anecdotes collected without much method. It could also use a bit more of editing. You will fare better with wikipedia, at least it won't cost you a full e-book price.
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Interesting! But it is brief. It is helpful to know more about china, especially the cultural revolution. But I think the author should be more objective to some events that be written in the book.
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