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The Complete Illustrated History of China by J. A. G. Roberts

The Complete Illustrated History of China

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The Complete Illustrated History of China by J. A. G. Roberts

This brilliant account of China's rise to world power status makes invaluable reading for anyone who wants to understand this dynamic society.


Roberts has previously published the acclaimed Concise History Of China and now comes the full-blown version. The university lecturer - an expert on China and Japan - has packed in so much detail that it amounts to an encyclopaedia of this most mysterious of countries. In here you will find everything there is to know about China from prehistoric times to the present. Population movements, cultural changes, customs and politics are all looked at in the finest detail. Roberts makes it possible to learn about not only the achievements of scores of emperors in what seems like a never-ending chain of dynasties, but also about their characters and how they perceived the world. One striking feature that soon becomes clear from Roberts's narrative is the insular nature of China over the millennia. Even in the heyday of its great civilization the country looked inward rather than outward, tending to distrust anyone from beyond its shores and mountains. That distrust of 'foreigners', which included even full-blooded Chinese with the wrong sort of features, became a potential menace rather than a national eccentricity as China began to rise as a military power under Chairman Mao. The development of its nuclear arsenal and a rift with the Russians are events shown by Roberts to have created a cauldron in the Orient that not even the overtures of US President Richard Nixon could entirely cool during his much-vaunted visits of the 1970s. In a book of this scope it becomes almost impossible to pick out highlights. Suffice to say that Roberts approaches his 25 sections with scholarly enthusiasm and an eye for the minutest detail. He also shows that previous historians have sometimes erred in the dating of events, and that many cherished tales of ancient China are probably myths. The photographs, particularly of some of the final emperors and China in the 19th century, are of astounding quality. (Kirkus UK)

About the Author

J.A.G.Roberts is Principal Lecturer in the University of Huddersfield, specialising in the history of China and Japan.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th July 2003


J. A. G. Roberts

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Sutton Publishing Ltd an imprint of The History Press Ltd


560 pages


Asian history
Regional studies
Cultural studies



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