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Modern China

Modern China

A Guide to a Century of Change

Graham Hutchings

ISBN 9780674012400

Publication date: 10/15/2003

In the new millennium all eyes are on China, which many believe has the potential in the near future to rise to world prominence as a political leader and an economic powerhouse. Yet several aspects of Chinese society remain an obstacle to internal growth and of deep concern to the outside world.

In Modern China Graham Hutchings offers a timely and useful reference guide to the people, places, ideas, and events crucial to an understanding of this rising power. The focus is on society and politics and their impact on both China and the world. After an introduction that discusses key themes in twentieth-century China, Hutchings provides over two hundred insightful short essays, arranged alphabetically, that cover central figures and events from Sun Yat-sen to Jiang Zemin and the Boxer Rebellion to Tiananmen Square. Included are separate entries on each province, the current political leadership, and the two colonies recently returned to Chinese control, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as trenchant essays on subjects that remain sensitive within and controversial outside China, such as religion, ethnic minorities, Tibet, Taiwan, and human rights.

Accessible and authoritative, Modern China is invaluable for anyone interested in the transformation of this ancient land into a modern power.


  • Hutchings’ focus on events of the 20th century provides a clean temporal boundary—a century marked by revolutionary movements and institutions, change and evolutions, all dominated by communism—the period in which China established itself as a major actor on the world stage. The author intends to create ‘neither a dictionary nor an encyclopedia,’ ‘to be authoritative rather than academic; comprehensive rather than exhaustive; enjoyable as well as enlightening.’ The result is a work that can serve as a reference resource, tempered by a recognition of the author’s deliberate use of ‘point of view’ essays… [T]he book has much value. It is an ambitious and affordable resource.

    —K. W. Berger, Choice


  • Graham Hutchings studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and was the China correspondent for London’s Daily Telegraph for more than a decade.

Book Details

  • 560 pages
  • 5-7/8 x 8-7/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press