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China and Other Matters

China and Other Matters

Benjamin I. Schwartz

ISBN 9780674118638

Publication date: 08/01/1996

These writings, representing over a generation of work by one of our most acute commentators on Chinese history, are collected here for the first time and introduced with a masterly prologue. They cut across the boundaries of different fields of knowledge to better understand modern China and traditional Chinese culture.

Schwartz's writings are deeply concerned with the conceptual frameworks and presumptions which we as twentieth-century Westerners bring to bear in our study of foreign cultures. He brings the entire complexity concerning modernity to his analysis of the millennial political, social, and cultural history of China.

This is also an excavation of the conscious life of the Chinese past, an interpretation of the persistent dominant cultural and sociopolitical orientations of Chinese culture. The constancies of behavior and attitudes are made plain in the contingencies and complexities of short-durational and generational history.


  • Schwartz is a scholar of truly amazing breadth as his work spans historical and political studies of Chinese Communism, and the thought of ancient China...Each of the essays is a seminal and provocative discussion of its topic. The essays cover such subjects as the method of periodising Chinese history, modernity, the importance of the political order in East Asian society, Chinese political understanding of the United States, the role of the leader and the party in Communist Chinese politics, and recent changes in an evolving post-Communist society in mainland China. Each of these essays may be read with a great deal of profit both for the intrinsic value of the essay and for how these essays when read collectively reflect the changes and development in the American scholastic community's view of 'China'.

    —James H. Grayson, Asian Affairs


  • Benjamin I. Schwartz was Leroy B. Williams Professor of History and Political Science, Emeritus, at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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