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Modern Chinese History: Second Edition (David Kenley)


ISBN 978-0-924304-90-3. 108 pages. Paperback.

This second edition of Modern Chinese History provides a concise narrative of Chinese history from the period 1644 to the present. Organized around the twin themes of Chinese cosmopolitanism and exceptionalism, it can easily supplement any history, international studies, cultural studies, or Asian studies course. It can also provide valuable background information necessary to understand contemporary Chinese politics, society, and economics. General readers wanting quickly to understand the collapse of the imperial system, the rise of Communism, and the role of China in our contemporary world will welcome this eminently readable text.

“If, like me, you have been waiting for a stripped down and accessible introduction to China’s modern transformations, which hits all the main points in a small numbers of pages, your wait is over. This will be a very attractive volume for all teachers who want to make sure their students get an up to date introduction to the basics, yet also are determined to reserve lots of space on the syllabus for primary sources.” — JEFFREY WASSERSTROM, Editor, Journal of Asian Studies, and Chancellor’s Professor of History, UC Irvine

“From the beginning of the Qing Dynasty in the middle of the 17th century to the present time, this compact volume guides the reader through the social, political, and economic vicissitudes of the Chinese nation. Two outstanding features of this work are its emphasis on cross-cultural contacts and the attention it pays to men and women from various walks of life, not merely the well-known figures from the military and government. With its generous assortment of illustrations and numerous helpful references, Modern Chinese History is an ideal text for introductory courses that also include a judicious selection of primary sources.” — VICTOR H. MAIR, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, University of Pennsylvania and TANSEN SEN, Associate Professor of Asian History and Religions, Baruch College, CUNY (co-authors of the AAS “Key Issues” volume Traditional China in Asian and World History).

DAVID KENLEY is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Dakota State University. Formerly Professor of Chinese History at Elizabethtown College, he is committed to the concept of the scholar-teacher. Kenley’s research interests focus on Chinese migration. His publications include New Culture in a New World: The May Fourth Movement and the Chinese Diaspora, 1919–1932 as well as Contested Community: Identities, Spaces, and Hierarchies of the Chinese in the Cuban Republic (with Miriam Herrera Jerez and Mario Castillo Santana). Currently he is researching Western peacemaking activities in early twentieth-century China.