Education About Asia: Online Archives

China: Adapting the Past, Confronting the Future

Download PDF

ANN ARBOR:CENTER FOR CHINESE STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, 2002.

644 PAGES. PAPERBACK.

ISBN: 0-892-64156-8

Reviewed by Arthur Barbeau

In the Preface, China: Adapting the Past, Confronting the Future is described as the newest textbook on Modern China. To many readers, it may look more like a modified reader. There are six thematic sections, each introduced by a distinguished scholar. It is these long introductions that support the claim to be a text.

Thomas Buoye provides an introduction of more than twenty pages for the geography and history of China. This is not really adequate to cover a three thousand year span for one of the largest and most populous countries on earth. With so much to cover, even this brief overview must gloss over key areas. More than half is devoted to the past two hundred years. While there is a brief mention of the impacts of Confucianism, there is nothing on Buddhism or Daoism. Less than half a page is given to the entire tenure of the People’s Republic. Greater attention is spent on Sino-American relations.