"Chronicles reforms, revolutions, and wars through the lens of institutions, often rebutting Western impressions...[And] warns against thinking of China's economic success as proof of a unique path without contextualizing it in historical specifics." -New Yorker "This thoughtful, probing interpretation is a worthy successor to the famous histories of Fairbank and Spence and will be read by all students and scholars of modern China." -William C. Kirby, coauthor of Can China Lead? It is tempting to attribute the rise of China's to recent changes in political leadership and economic policy. But China has had a long history of creative adaptation and it would be a mistake to think that its current trajectory began with Deng Xiaoping. In the mid-eighteenth century, when the Qing Empire reached the height of its power, China dominated a third of the world's population. Then, as the Opium Wars threatened the nation's sovereignty and the Taiping Rebellion ripped the country apart, China found itself verging on free fall. In the twentieth century China managed a surprising recovery, rapidly undergoing profound economic and social change, buttressed by technological progress. A dynamic story of crisis and recovery, failures and triumphs, Making China Modern explores the versatility and resourcefulness that has guaranteed China's survival in the past, and is now fueling its future.
Klaus Muhlhahn is Professor of Modern China Studies and President of Zeppelin University. His Criminal Justice in China won the John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History.
At last we have a serious introduction to modern China in which the Chinese are the principal architects of their history, drawing upon the ideas and symbols embedded in their own cultural contexts and normative traditions to create distinctive institutions responsive to the crises and opportunities they have encountered. Anyone wanting to understand the importance of contemporary China for our global future should read this important book. -- R. Bin Wong, coauthor of <i>Before and Beyond Divergence</i> A remarkable accomplishment. Unlike an earlier generation of scholarship, Making China Modern does not treat China's contemporary transformation as a postscript. It accepts China as a major and active player in the world, places China at the center of an interconnected and global network of engagement, links domestic politics to international dynamics, and seeks to approach China on its own terms. -- Wen-hsin Yeh, author of <i>Shanghai Splendor</i> Muhlhahn is one of the world's leading historians of modern China. A scholar of breadth and depth across disciplines, he has written a compelling narrative of China's great last empire, the Qing, and of the revolutions and republics that have struggled to succeed it. This thoughtful, probing interpretation is a worthy successor to the famous histories of Fairbank and Spence and will be read by all students and scholars of modern China. -- William C. Kirby, coauthor of <i>Can China Lead?</i> A truly important book. Not since Fairbank have we seen such a masterful sweep of traditional, modern, and contemporary history of China thoroughly grounded in Chinese materials and perspectives but eloquently addressed to the interests and concerns of an English-reading public. Muhlhahn's narrative will help people anywhere in the world make sense of the China they must deal with today. -- Timothy Cheek, author of <i>The Intellectual in Modern Chinese History</i> Muhlhahn offers a detailed, balanced survey of the history of modern China, from the rise of the Qing in the early 17th century to the dawn of the Xi administration in 2012... A masterful synthesis. * Choice * Innovative and fresh...Mu hlhahn's skillful presentation will make this book a highly popular one. -- David Buck * H-Net Reviews * Muhlhahn chronicles reforms, revolutions, and wars through the lens of institutions, often rebutting Western impressions, such as the view of Chinese bureaucracy as monolithic. He also warns against thinking of China's economic success as proof of a unique path without contextualizing it in historical specifics. * New Yorker *
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