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The Dynasties of China: A History by Bamber…

The Dynasties of China: A History (1973)

by Bamber Gascoigne

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I have been coming back and forth to China for 20 years, and for the last 3 years have been living permenantly in Beijing. In that time my husband and I have amassed a large number of books on China, its history and culture.
This book by Bamber Gascoigne is the best introduction to Chinese history I have found. He originally wrote it in 1973 but this edition was been revised in 2003, with Chinese names changed from the Wade-Giles romanization used in the past, to the standard Pinyin used today. He has also ;iadded a very thought provoking postscript to the book covering the period after 1912 and the Mao years, and putting them in perspective.

The book does not overwhelm the reader with a mass of historical information, something easily done when covering the 3000+ years of Chinese history. It provides a logical and coheasive narrative, making sense of the complexities of the Chinese dynasties. Gascoigne writes in a clear and approachable style, leading the reader through the ages with the lightest of touches, and keeping the massive amount of detail to a manageable level.

For anyone interested in China and its history this book is the perfect introduction, and I have recommended it to many people. ( )
1 vote herschelian | May 17, 2013 |
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By focusing on the key characters of the eight major dynasties, Bamber Gascoigne brings to life 3,500 years of Chinese civilization. His account moves swiftly and revealing through the stunning achievements of language and ideas, cultural treasures and imperial palaces, wars won and lands lost, finally to arrive at the 1912 Revolution, which overthrew the Empire and contained within it the seeds of Communism. In this portrait he opens the door to a world that was for so long inaccessible to the West."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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