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Patterns of Modern Chinese History

Charles A. Desnoyers

Publication Date - 12 February 2016

ISBN: 9780199946457

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

In Stock

A concise and interpretive survey of modern Chinese history by an accomplished world historian


Patterns of Modern Chinese History offers a broad narrative of the period starting with the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) to the present. Providing in-depth coverage of modern Chinese history, this introductory text combines proven pedagogical features, a fluid narrative, and the latest scholarship to examine large patterns and their origins, interactions, and adaptations. Its versatile organization accommodates both chronological and thematic approaches, as well as different curricula. The narrative begins with an introductory Part that examines the origins and development of imperial China through the end of the Ming dynasty. Beginning at the height of imperial China's wealth and power, the second Part traces it through its downward spiral and ultimate demise, and following its revolutions, civil wars, invasions, radical political interlude, and rise once again to world prominence.

About the Author(s)

Charles A. Desnoyers is Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies at La Salle University. His books include Patterns of World History, Second Edition (OUP, 2014), coauthored with Peter von Sivers and George B. Stow, and A Journey to the East: Li Gui's "A New Account of a Trip Around the Globe" (2004).


"From its brisk, informative scene-setting tour through early dynastic periods to its thoughtful closing reflections on what it means to be Chinese in the second decade of the twenty-first century, this well-crafted, well-produced book continually lives up to its goal of providing a smart, classroom-friendly introduction to the complexities of China's modern era. The author's clear writing, focus on recurring 'patterns,' and excellent use of images and quotations make this a very welcome publication indeed."--Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, author of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know®

"Patterns of Modern Chinese History is focused, accessible, and based on the most up-to-date scholarship. It does an excellent job of covering the vast and complex history of China's modern transitions through specific and lively examples. At the same time, the author's historiographical approach greatly facilitates students' understanding of the broad, long-term trends in modern Chinese history and the contradictions and complexity contained therein."-- Robert Cliver, Humboldt State University

"Patterns of Modern Chinese History has a number of strengths, including a fluid narrative style. It also has the advantage of incorporating the latest research in the field, including recent scholarship that places China in the larger context of world history. This helps connect China to larger trends in world history and makes the study of Chinese history relevant to those in other parts of the world."--Peter Worthing, Texas Christian University

Table of Contents

    List of Maps
    Notes on Dates and Spelling
    About the Author

    Part 1: The Past as Prologue

    Chapter 1: Origins to 221 BCE
    Chapter 2: Imperial China Before The Qing, 221 BCE-1644 CE

    Part 2: Patterns of Modern Chinese History

    Chapter 3: The Apogee of Empire: The Qing Dynasty Through The Qianlong Era, 1644-1795
    Chapter 4: The Last Empire In Transition I: Society And State, 1795-1900
    Chapter 5: The Last Empire In Transition II: Imperialism And Resistance, Reform And Reaction 1795-1900
    Chapter 6: From Empire To People's Republic: 1901-1949
    Chapter 7: The People's Republic: The Maoist Era, 1949-1976
    Chapter 8: "To Get Rich Is Glorious": The Four Modernizatoins, 1976-1989
    Chapter 9: Toward The "Harmonious Society": Building The Fragile Superpower, 1989-Present
    Chapter 10: Epilogue: Back To The Future?