Cover: Imperial China, 900–1800, from Harvard University PressCover: Imperial China, 900–1800 in PAPERBACK

Imperial China, 900–1800

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$38.00 • £33.95 • €34.95

ISBN 9780674012127

Publication Date: 11/15/2003

Short

1128 pages

6-3/8 x 10 inches

5 halftones, 22 maps, 9 charts

World

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This massive tome crowns the long, distinguished career of Frederick Mote, an influential scholar of Late Imperial China in the United States… An outstanding feature that distinguishes this book from similar works is the author’s effort to readdress the imbalance in traditional historiography with its lopsided focus on the political and geographic center of the realm. He does a wonderful job of reconstructing the history of such historically neglected regimes as Khitan–Liao, Jurchen–Jin, and Tangut–Western Xia, from the perspective of the Other… What I find most praiseworthy is the lucid, elegant expository style of writing. In spite of the wealth of knowledge the author clearly possesses about traditional China, he chooses to cover in depth a select number of topics—personages, events, institutions, etc.—in a language that is understandable to the average man in the street, without relying on opaque verbosity. Consequently, the book is likely to leave a profound and lasting impact on the reader in areas it focuses on, which will in turn help him or her better understand a given period of Late Imperial China from a long-term perspective.—Victor Cunrui Xiong, Chinese Historical Review

A personal meditation on the later imperial history of China by an author who has studied and taught the subject all his life and whose knowledge of it is truly formidable. It is written in a readable, accessible style that attracts the reader’s sustained attention.—John W. Dardess, University of Kansas

A major contribution to our present literature on the general historiography of late Imperial China. Not only is it eminently accessible to a wide nonspecialized intellectual public, it also provides a major corrective within the field to some of the tendencies that have dominated the writing of Chinese history. Mote has highly cogent things to say about the nature of what has been called the ‘gentry’ in China and highly relevant questions to raise about the notion of a demographic explosion in eighteenth-century China and examines many of the prevailing abstract conceptions which dominate the field. Yet, he vividly demonstrated how limited our effort has been to explore in depth the vast documentary materials available to us, which are supposed to provide the ‘empirical data’ for our models, paradigms, and structural theories. Mote’s major contribution is his detailed account of the growing complexity of relations between the Chinese state and the surrounding East Asian world during the period 900–1800.—Benjamin I. Schwartz, Harvard University

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