Cover: Military Culture in Imperial China, from Harvard University PressCover: Military Culture in Imperial China in PAPERBACK

Military Culture in Imperial China

Edited by Nicola Di Cosmo

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Product Details


$28.50 • £22.95 • €25.50

ISBN 9780674060722

Publication Date: 03/04/2011

Academic Trade

456 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

3 line illustrations, 7 maps, 1 chart


Throughout Military Culture in Imperial China, it is clear China did not have the dramatic split between military and literary culture that many have perceived… As China grows economically, politically and militarily, it will become increasingly important to understand China’s present military culture, which is rooted in the imperial tradition explored in this book.—Francesco Sisci, Asia Times

This is an extremely valuable study of Chinese military culture.—Peter Lorge, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

Future students of the role of the military in Chinese history will want to have the present volume close at hand.—Paul Jakov Smith, Journal of Military History

This excellent book will be the starting place for many future scholars of Chinese military history.—K.E. Stapleton, Choice

This is a very valuable contribution to Chinese history and to the growing field of comparative military history. It corrects the common view that China was a society of civil culture, to the exclusion of the military. The authors address the Chinese treatment of the culture of war in the Chinese context, not as a subset of European military culture; they move beyond works that tend to disparage China for not waging war in a European way. As contemporary China emerges as a major military power, this book is important and timely.—Diana Lary, University of British Columbia

Military Culture in Imperial China asks basic questions and answers them brilliantly. It is not about battles, but about how Chinese culture represented and in turn shaped the military and warfare. In case studies from the span of Chinese history, we finally learn how organized violence formed and reflected religious ideas and practices, traditions of historical writing, politics, literature, and economics. This book is a must for anyone interested in China’s imperial history and in military history more generally.—Hans van de Ven, University of Cambridge

Awards & Accolades

  • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2009
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