China, history/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about China, history.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.

For a long scholarly bibliography through 2001 see "Modern Chinese History: A Basic Bibliography".

surveys

  • Eberharad, Wolfram. A History of China (2005), 380 pages' full text online free
  • Ebrey, Patricia Buckley, and Kwang-ching Liu. The Cambridge Illustrated History of China (1999) 352 pages excerpt and text search
  • Fairbank, John King and Goldman, Merle. China: A New History. 2nd ed. Harvard U. Press, (2006). 640 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Gernet, Jacques, J. R. Foster, and Charles Hartman. A History of Chinese Civilization (1996), called the best one-volume survey; excerpt and text search
  • Hsü, Immanuel Chung-yueh. The Rise of Modern China, 6th ed. (Oxford University Press, 1999), highly detailed coverage of 1644-1999, in 1136pp. excerpt and text search
  • Huang, Ray. China, a Macro History (1997) 335pp, an idiosyncratic approach, not for beginners; online edition from Questia
  • Latourette, Kenneth Scott. The Development of China (1917) 273 pages; full text online
  • Michael, Franz. China through the Ages: History of a Civilization. (1986). 278pp; online edition from Questia
  • Mote, Frederick W. Imperial China, 900–1800 Harvard University Press, 1999, 1,136 pages, the authoritative treatment of the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties; excerpt and text search
  • Perkins, Dorothy. Encyclopedia of China: The Essential Reference to China, Its History and Culture. Facts on File, 1999. 662 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Roberts, J. A. G. A Concise History of China. Harvard U. Press, 1999. 341 pp.
  • Schoppa, R. Keith. The Columbia Guide to Modern Chinese History. Columbia U. Press, 2000. 356 pp. online edition from Questia
  • Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China (1991), 876pp; well written survey from 1644 to 1980s excerpt and text search; complete edition online at Questia
  • Tanner, Harold Miles. China: A History. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 2009.
  • Ven, Hans van de, ed. Warfare in Chinese History. E. J. Brill, 2000. 456 pp. online edition
  • Wang, Ke-wen, ed. Modern China: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Nationalism. Garland, 1998. 442 pp.
  • Wright, David Curtis. History of China (2001) 257pp; online edition

Prehistory and early history

  • Chang, Kwang-chih. The Archaeology of Ancient China, Yale University Press, 1986.

Sung Dynasty

  • Hymes, Robert, and Conrad Schirokauer, eds. Ordering the World: Approaches to State and Society in Sung Dynasty China, U of California Press, 1993; complete text online free

Ming

  • Brook, Timothy. The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China. U. of California Press, 1998. excerpt and text search
  • Dardess, John W. A Ming Society: T'ai-ho County, Kiangsi, Fourteenth to Seventeenth Centuries. U. of California Press, 1983; uses advanced "new social history" complete text online free
  • Farmer, Edward. Zhu Yuanzhang and Early Ming Legislation: The Reordering of Chinese Society Following the Era of Mongol Rule. E.J. Brill, 1995.
  • Goodrich, L. Carrington, and Chaoying Fang. Dictionary of Ming Biography. (1976).
  • Huang, Ray. 1587, A Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline. (1981). excerpt and text search
  • Mote, Frederick W. and Twitchett, Denis, eds. The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 7: The Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 1. (1988). 976 pp.
  • Schneewind, Sarah. A Tale of Two Melons: Emperor and Subject in Ming China. (2006). excerpt and text search
  • Tsai, Shih-shan Henry. Perpetual Happiness: The Ming Emperor Yongle. (2001). excerpt and text search
  • Mote, Frederick W., and Denis Twitchett, eds. The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 7, part 1: The Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644 (1988). 1008 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Twitchett, Denis and Frederick W. Mote, eds. The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 8: The Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 2. (1998). 1203 pp.; Twitchett, Denis and Frederick W. Mote, eds. The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 8: The Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 1.

Qing

  • Fairbank, John K. and Liu, Kwang-Ching, ed. The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 2: Late Ch'ing, 1800-1911, Part 2. Cambridge U. Press, 1980. 754 pp.
  • Peterson, Willard J., ed. The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 9, Part 1: The Ch'ing Dynasty to 1800. Cambridge U. Press, 2002. 753 pp.
  • Rawski, Evelyn S. The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions (2001) complete text online free
  • Struve, Lynn A., ed. The Qing Formation in World-Historical Time. (2004). 412 pp.
  • Struve, Lynn A., ed. Voices from the Ming-Qing Cataclysm: China in Tigers' Jaws (1998) excerpt and text search

Republican Era

  • see CBI/Bibliography, China-Burma-India Theater of World War II
  • see Chiank Kai-shek/Bibliography
  • see Sun Yat-sen/Bibliography
  • Bergere, Marie-Claire. Sun Yat-Sen (1998), 480pp, the standard biography, based on rigorous modern scholarship
  • Boorman, Howard L., ed. Biographical Dictionary of Republican China. (Vol. I-IV and Index. 1967-1979). 600 valuable short scholarly biographies excerpt and text search
    • Boorman, Howard L. "Sun Yat-sen" in Boorman, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Republican China (1970) 3: 170-89, excellent starting place. complete text online
  • Dreyer, Edward L. China at War, 1901-1949. (1995). 422 pp.
  • Eastman Lloyd. Seeds of Destruction: Nationalist China in War and Revolution, 1937- 1945. (1984)
  • Eastman Lloyd et al. The Nationalist Era in China, 1927-1949 (1991) excerpt and text search
  • Fairbank, John K., ed. The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 12, Republican China 1912-1949. Part 1. (1983). 1001 pp.
  • Fairbank, John K. and Feuerwerker, Albert, eds. The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 13: Republican China, 1912-1949, Part 2. (1986). 1092 pp.
  • Gordon, David M. The China-Japan War, 1931–1945. The Journal of Military History v70#1 (2006) 137-182; major historiographical overview of all important books and interpretations; in Project Muse
  • Hsiung, James C. and Steven I. Levine, eds. China's Bitter Victory: The War with Japan, 1937-1945 (1992), essays by scholars; online from Questia; also excerpt and text search
  • Hsi-sheng, Ch'i. Nationalist China at War: Military Defeats and Political Collapse, 1937–1945 (1982)
  • Hung, Chang-tai. War and Popular Culture: Resistance in Modern China, 1937-1945 (1994) complete text online free
  • Rubinstein, Murray A., ed. Taiwan: A New History (2006), 560pp
  • Shiroyama, Tomoko. China during the Great Depression: Market, State, and the World Economy, 1929-1937 (2008)
  • Westad, Odd Arne. Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1946-1950. (2003). 413 pp. the standard history

Communist era, 1949- present

  • Barnouin, Barbara, and Yu Changgen. Zhou Enlai: A Political Life (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Baum, Richard D. "'Red and Expert': The Politico-Ideological Foundations of China's Great Leap Forward," Asian Survey, Vol. 4, No. 9 (Sep., 1964), pp. 1048-1057 in JSTOR
  • Becker, Jasper. Hungry Ghosts: China's Secret Famine (1996), on the "Great Leap Forward" of 1950s
  • Chang, Jung and Jon Halliday. Mao: The Unknown Story, (2005), 814 pages, ISBN 0-679-42271-4
  • Dittmer, Lowell. China's Continuous Revolution: The Post-Liberation Epoch, 1949-1981 (1989) online free
  • Dietrich, Craig. People's China: A Brief History, 3d ed. (1997), 398pp excerpt and text search
  • Kirby, William C., ed. Realms of Freedom in Modern China. (2004). 416 pp.
  • Kirby, William C.; Ross, Robert S.; and Gong, Li, eds. Normalization of U.S.-China Relations: An International History. (2005). 376 pp.
  • Li, Xiaobing. A History of the Modern Chinese Army (2007) excerpt and text search
  • MacFarquhar, Roderick and Fairbank, John K., eds. The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 15: The People's Republic, Part 2: Revolutions within the Chinese Revolution, 1966-1982. Cambridge U. Press, 1992. 1108 pp.
  • Meisner, Maurice. Mao's China and After: A History of the People’s Republic, 3rd ed. (Free Press, 1999), dense book with theoretical and political science approach. excerpt and text search
  • Spence, Jonatham. Mao Zedong (1999) excerpt and text search
  • Shuyun, Sun. The Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth (2007)
  • Wang, Jing. High Culture Fever: Politics, Aesthetics, and Ideology in Deng's China (1996) complete text online free
  • Wenqian, Gao. Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary (2007) excerpt and text search

Cultural Revolution, 1966-76

  • Clark, Paul. The Chinese Cultural Revolution: A History (2008), a favorable look at artistic production excerpt and text search
  • Esherick, Joseph W.; Pickowicz, Paul G.; and Walder, Andrew G., eds. The Chinese Cultural Revolution as History. (2006). 382 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Jian, Guo; Song, Yongyi; and Zhou, Yuan. Historical Dictionary of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. (2006). 433 pp.
  • MacFarquhar, Roderick and Fairbank, John K., eds. The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 15: The People's Republic, Part 2: Revolutions within the Chinese Revolution, 1966-1982. Cambridge U. Press, 1992. 1108 pp.
  • MacFarquhar, Roderick and Michael Schoenhals. Mao's Last Revolution. (2006).
  • MacFarquhar, Roderick. The Origins of the Cultural Revolution. Vol. 3: The Coming of the Cataclysm, 1961-1966. (1998). 733 pp.
  • Yan, Jiaqi and Gao, Gao. Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution. (1996). 736 pp.

Economy and environment

  • Chow, Gregory C. China's Economic Transformation (2nd ed. 2007) excerpt and text search
  • Elvin, Mark. Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of China. (2004). 564 pp.
  • Elvin, Mark and Liu, Ts'ui-jung, eds. Sediments of Time: Environment and Society in Chinese History. (1998). 820 pp.
  • Ji, Zhaojin. A History of Modern Shanghai Banking: The Rise and Decline of China's Finance Capitalism. (2003. 325) pp.
  • Naughton, Barry. The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth (2007)
  • Rawski, Thomas G. and Lillian M. Li, eds. Chinese History in Economic Perspective, University of California Press, 1992 complete text online free
  • Sheehan, Jackie. Chinese Workers: A New History. Routledge, 1998. 269 pp.
  • Stuart-Fox, Martin. A Short History of China and Southeast Asia: Tribute, Trade and Influence. (2003). 278 pp.

Intellectual, social and cultural history

  • de Bary, William Theodore, et al., Sources of Chinese Tradition (1960), primary sources
  • Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. Women and the Family in Chinese History (2002) online edition from Questia
  • Fung, Yu-lan. A History of Chinese Philosophy, (2d ed. 2 vol., University Press, 1963)
  • Goldman, Merle and Lee, Leo Ou-fan, ed. An Intellectual History of Modern China. Cambridge U. Press, 2002. 607 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Mair, Victor H., ed. The Columbia History of Chinese Literature. Columbia U. Press, 2001. 800 pp. online edition from Questia
  • Mote, Frederick W. Intellectual Foundations of China, (2d ed. 1989)
  • Needham, Joseph; Robinson, Kenneth Girdwood; and Huang, Ray. Science and Civilisation in China: V. 7, Part 2: General Conclusions and Reflections. (2004). 283 pp. the last volume of a monumental series
  • Schwartz, Benjamin. The World of Thought in Ancient China (1985)
  • Spence, Jonathan D. The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution (1982), 560pp' intellectual history of politics, 1895-1930s excerpt and text search
  • Temple, Robert, and Joseph Needham. The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery, and Invention, (2007), summarizes Needham's massive multivolume history
  • Watson, William. The Arts of China, 900-1620. (2000). 304 pp.
  • Watson, William. The Arts of China to A.D. 900 2000. excerpt and text search
  • Xinian, Fu, Guo Daiheng, Liu Xujie, and Pan Guxi. Chinese Architecture (2002) excerpt and text search
  • Xu, Guoqi, and William C. Kirby. Olympic Dreams: China and Sports, 1895-2008 (2008)

Religion

  • Charbonnier, Jean, David Notley, and M. N. L. Couve de Murville. Christians in China: A.D. 600 to 2000 (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Seiwert, Hubert. Popular Religious Movements and Heterodox Sects in Chinese History. Brill, 2003. 548 pp.

Historiography

  • Braester, Yomi. Witness against History: Literature, Film, and Public Discourse in Twentieth-Century China. Stanford U. Press, 2003. 264 pp.
  • Crossley, Pamela Kyle. A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology (2002) complete text online free
  • Duara, Prasenjit. Rescuing History from the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China. U. of Chicago Press, 1995. 275 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Huang, Ray. Broadening the Horizons of Chinese History: Discourses, Syntheses and Comparisons. M. E. Sharpe, 1999. 274 pp. online edition from Questia
  • Huters, Theodore; Wong, R. Bin; and Yu, Pauline, eds. Culture and State in Chinese History: Convention, Accommodations, and Critiques. Stanford U. Press, 1997. 500 pp.
  • Johnston, Alastair Iain. Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History. Princeton U. Press, 1995. 307 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Lach, Donald F. "China in Western Thought and Culture," in Philip P. Wiener, ed. The Dictionary of the History of Ideas (1974) online edition
  • Ng, On-Cho and Wang, Q. Edward. Mirroring the Past: The Writing and Use of History in Imperial China. U. of Hawai`i Press, 2005. 306 pp.
  • Van Kley, Edwin J. "Europe's 'Discovery' of China and the Writing of World History," The American Historical Review, 76 (1971), 358-85. in JSTOR
  • Wang, Ben. Illuminations from the Past: Trauma, Memory, and History in Modern China. Stanford U. Press, 2004. 311 pp.
  • Wang, David Der-wei. The Monster That Is History: History, Violence, and Fictional Writing in Twentieth-Century China. U. of California Press, 2004. 402 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Wang, Q. Edward. Inventing China Through History: The May Fourth Approach to Historiography. State U. of New York Press, 2001. 304 pp.
  • Wilkinson, Endymion. Chinese History, A Manual, Revised and Enlarged. Harvard U. Asia Center, 2000. 1181 pp. Standard research guide to 4300 books and sources (most in Chinese) covering all major topics; for advanced users only
  • Xia, Yafeng. "The Study of Cold War International History in China: A Review of the Last Twenty Years," Journal of Cold War Studies10#1 Winter 2008, pp. 81-115 in Project Muse
  • Studies of Modern Chinese History: Reviews and Historiographical Essays