This Survey Begins With The Prehistoric Period, Then Discusses The Major Currents Of Chinese History, Philosophy, Culture And Politics From The Reigns Of Such Dynastic Rulers As The Shang To The Era Of Mongol Conquests And The Manchu Dynasties, Culminating With The Birth Of The Chinese Republic In 1912 17 Maps, 24 Illustrations. I grabbed this book because I was woefully uninformed about Chinese history, and needed some place to start Since I had nothing to judge it by, I have no idea whether this book does its subject any justice I can tell that it does little than show a reader the main points, which isn t really a criticism Chinese history goes back at least 3500 years how could one small volume do any than that I can say that this is quite readable, and it seems to at least attempt to give a broad picture It s not just a parade of names and dates Each chapter covers one period, giving a thumbnail political history in its first half then describing cultural issues in the second The last chapter, covering the first half of the twent
There are two things especially commendable about this book its brevity, and Goodrich s concise and clear judgments free, as far as I can tell, from prejudice Beyond that, much of the book often reads as a bare outline of facts and dates In that respect, it was useful since my knowledge of ancient Chinese history is weak , but I found myself craving some stories to humanize the events A love story here, a betrayal there, some heroism thrown in as spice Alas, there was nothing l
A nice broad summary of China from prehistory through the first half of the 20th century Having been born and raised in China, and being fluent in Mandarin, Goodrich is intimately familiar with his subject matter.Don t expect an in depth look at any one particular dynasty, or too many specifics about life and culture this is a history of the rise and fall of the various dynasties that ruled China throughout its existence, their successes, and eventual downfall The influence of religion, particularly Buddhism and Taoism is covered at length, and how it spread and shaped the culture at various points in history Goodrich includes much interesting trivia throughout the narrative as well, always when relevant The only shortcoming is hardly the fault of the author because it was written contemporary to the founding of the PRC, there is nothing about Communist China the book ends with the Chinese civil war in the late 1940 s and one gets the impression the author would
The information was decent, and concise My copy literally fell apart in my hands as I read it, so the experience was a little tainted for me All in all, it was a pleasant read, and I did learn something from it.
- 304 pages
- A Short History of the Chinese People
- L. Carrington Goodrich
- 18 May 2018 L. Carrington Goodrich