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China and Historical Capitalism

China and Historical Capitalism
Genealogies of Sinological Knowledge


Part of Studies in Modern Capitalism

Gregory Blue, Timothy Brook, Immanuel Wallerstein, Francesca Bray, R. Bin Wong
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  • Date Published: September 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521525916

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About the Authors
  • This book addresses the historical relationship that has arisen between the concept of capitalism and the idea of China. Formulated by European intellectuals in order to identify the social formation in which they found themselves, capitalism was portrayed as unique to Europe and as an organic outgrowth of Western civilization. In this way, China was rejected as a model of civilization, and seen merely as despotic, feudal or stagnant. This Eurocentric judgement has hung over all subsequent thinking about China, even influencing Chinese perceptions of their own history. The aim of this collaborative project is to examine how the experience of capitalism as a European social formation and as a world-system has shaped knowledge of China. In addition the volume aims to establish new foundations on which a theory of Chinese society might be built, in order to perceive and understand Chinese development in less Eurocentric terms.

    • Provides a new understanding of capitalism and the intellectual effects of this model, and corrects the distortion of viewing China through the capitalist lens
    • Incorporates the most recent thinking on the nature of Chinese society
    • Brings together outstanding social theorist of world history (Wallerstein) with four leading China specialists
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521525916
    • length: 304 pages
    • copublisher: Maison des Sciences de l'Homme
    • dimensions: 229 x 151 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.616kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Gregory Blue and Timothy Brook
    1. The West, capitalism and the modern world-system Immanuel Wallerstein
    2. China and Western social thought Gregory Blue
    3. Capitalism and the writing of modern history in China Timothy Brook
    4. Toward a critical history of non-Western technology Francesca Bray
    5. The political economy of agrarian Empire and its modern legacy R. Bin Wong

  • Editors

    Timothy Brook, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
    Timothy Brook is a historian of China since the fourteenth century. He is currently Professor of Chinese History in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia, where he holds the Republic of China Chair at the Institute for Asian Research. Previous appointments include Mactaggart Fellow at the University of Alberta, Professor of History at the University of Toronto and Stanford University, and Shaw Professor of Chinese at the University of Oxford, from 2007 to 2009. He has published five books on the Ming dynasty, three on China in the twentieth century, and one on global history. He was also the General Editor of the six-volume History of Imperial China. His most widely read and translated book is Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global Age, awarded the Mark Lynton Prize from the Columbia School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, and the Prix Auguste Pavie from the Académie des Sciences d'Outre-mer.

    Gregory Blue, University of Victoria, British Columbia


    Gregory Blue, Timothy Brook, Immanuel Wallerstein, Francesca Bray, R. Bin Wong

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