In an extraordinary feat of synthesis, Patricia Buckley Ebrey, a leading scholar of China, gives an engaging, full, gloriously illustrated account of over 8000 years of Chinese civilization - from prehistoric times through the rise of Confucianism, Buddhism and the imperial dynasties to the modern communist state. In addition, she explores the different factors and forces, ideas and inventions, events and leaders that have shaped the remarkable Chinese civilization we know today; including the technological advances, the population explosion, and the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution. Everything appears, from the influence of leading Chinese historians, poets, novelists and dramatists to the impact of key philosophical and religious ideas, art forms, family patterns, and the Mongul, Manchu and Western intrusions.
• Enormous range, over 8000 years of Chinese history, written by a leading specialist • Special panel features on influential ideas, issues, people, events and places • Over 220 pictures, including nearly 30 maps
Foreword Kwang-Ching Liu; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. The origins of Chinese civilization: Neolithic period to the western Zhou dynasty (animal and human imagery in bronze vessels); 2. Philosophical foundations: the eastern Zhou period; 3. The creation of the bureaucratic empire: the Qin and Han dynasties; 4. Buddhism, aristocracy, and alien rulers: the age of division (early Buddhist art); 5. A cosmopolitan empire: the Tang dynasty; 6. Shifting south: the Song dynasty (landscape painting); 7. Alien rule: the Liao, Jin, and Yuan dynasties (drama and the performing arts); 8. The limits of autocracy: the Ming dynasty (the kilns at Jingdezhen); 9. Manchus and imperialism: the Qing dynasty (working for a living); 10. Taking action: the early twentieth century (modern Chinese painting); 11. Radical reunification: the People's Republic; Epilogue; Chronology; Picture acknowledgements; Notes; Further reading; Index.
'Patricia Ebrey's Illustrated History of China is a fine book, sumptuous and scholarly. With great economy of text, it outlines the major elements and changes in four millennia of Chinese history and social life; the art work and photographs, skilfully chosen and admirably reproduced, both illuminate the text and supplement it.' Jonathan Spence, Yale University
'The splendid collection of pictures displays painstaking research. But it is the author's careful and clear synthesis of China's long history that is most remarkable. This book will, in time, I believe, be regarded as a classic.' Kwang-Ching Liu, Davis