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China: A History de [Keay, John]
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China: A History Versión Kindle

3.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas 1 opinión de cliente

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Descripción del producto


"Library Journal" Without sacrificing substance for brevity, Keay manages to illustrate China s history very much as a narrative... Readers already interested in, or wishing newly to embark upon, Chinese history will adore this book. Highly recommended. "Philadelphia Inquirer" "China: A History" marks a welcome advance [Keay s] touch is deft and faithful to the tenor of the debates, especially those between archaeologists and literary scholars. "

Descripción del producto

Three thousand years of Chinese history in an accessible and authoritative single volume.

Despite the recent rise of China to a position of dominance on the world economic stage, Chinese history remains an elusive subject. Yet it is this vast narrative of appalling loss, superhuman endeavour and incredible invention that has made China the superpower it is today. From the dawn of legend to the succession of great dynasties, from Confucius to Chairman Mao and from the clamour of revolution to the lure of slick capitalism, John Keay takes the reader on a sweeping tour through Chinese history. This is a definitive and indispensable account of a country set to play a major part in our future.

Detalles del producto

  • Formato: Versión Kindle
  • Tamaño del archivo: 8495 KB
  • Longitud de impresión: 512
  • Editor: HarperPress (12 de abril de 2010)
  • Vendido por: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Idioma: Inglés
  • ASIN: B003GUBIH0
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  • Valoración media de los clientes: 3.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas 1 opinión de cliente
  • Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: n.° 112.596 de Pago en Tienda Kindle (Ver el Top 100 de pago en Tienda Kindle)
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Formato: Tapa blanda Compra verificada
Como el propio autor detalla, no es el típico libro que dedica más tiempo al pasado reciente que al lejano por lo que puede quedar un poco escasa para el lector que quiere centrarse en los dos últimos siglos de historia China. Sin embargo, ofrece una visión mucho más amplia que sirve para conocer las raíces de la civilización china. Imposible intentar retener todos los nombres y lugares por su complejidad y gran cantidad.
Solo para lectores muy motivados
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Opiniones de clientes más útiles en (beta) 4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas 68 opiniones
236 de 251 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
3.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Not a bad intro, but take it with a grain of salt 3 de julio de 2010
Por Haotian - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura
Firstly, the author should be commended for even attempting to condense such a vast and complex subject as the history of China into a single volume. On the whole, it is an accessible account which will give an introductory understanding of many parts of China's history.

However, the book gives the impression that the supporting research was done in a great hurry, and contains errors, inconsistincies, and a number of sensational conclusions, some of which are not supported by sufficient evidence. It was therefore little wonder to me when I learned that the author is, in fact, a journalist and not a historian. It seems as though the author has attempted to make some attention-grabbing statements in a clumsy attempt to turn Chinese history on its head.

I will give just three examples of the kind of sloppiness that I have referred to. 1) One theory, which is entirely undeveloped apart from a small amount of hypothesising on the part of the author, is that the Great Wall did not prevent northern tribes from entering China and was never designed for this purpose. In stating this, the author appears unaware of the extraordinary career and accomplishments of Qi Jiguang, perhaps China's greatest military leader of the Ming (or any other) period. He built, and successfully defended the Great Wall against all comers. Although it was never intended to be an entirely defensive structure, and although no one other than Qi Jiguang was able to defend China's northern frontier as he did, this hardly validates the author's sensational theory 2) the portrayal of Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-Shek) as a collaborator in the Long March of the CCP ignores the fact that he hated the CCP, wanted it to be eradicated from the face of the Earth, and had expended an enormous amount of political and military effort in attempting to defeat them. For Jiang to sit back and watch the Long March, while "shepherding" the CCP to its new northern base under duress from the Soviet Union, runs counter to everything that we know about Jiang's struggle with the CCP 3) the author states that Jesuit missionaries in China attempted a top-down conversion of the Chinese empire to Christianity, which is a misconception of the kind that you would expect from someone who only reads headlines - while the Jesuit missionaries spent substantial efforts attempting to win imperial recognition and support, the vast majority of their work was focussed on the Chinese countryside.

I readily admit that I am no expert on any period of Chinese history. However, the fact that even someone in my position can easily see some of the flaws in the author's arguments only shows how circumspect the reader needs to be in approaching this book. I would guess that someone who really is an expert on Chinese history would find many more flaws.

This book is useful as a basic outline of Chinese history, but is flawed in at least some, probably many, of its details, and needs to be supplemented with other sources to gain a more balanced and informed view of the topics covered.
76 de 85 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas A very readable account 26 de agosto de 2008
Por Seth J. Frantzman - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura
John Keay is correct in observing that Chinese history is often impenetrable to all but the specialist. Yet it is an important and ancient history and one many people would like to know more about. So he has set out to do for China what he did for India in India: A History and make it accessible to an English speaking audience.

THis is a well written account of a fascinating country and its people. It does what few books do which is to ignore the present and instead give the past a fair shake in terms. There is no telescoping the narrative so that the last hundred years gets half the book, instead the las thundred years of Chinese history receives just a few dozen pages, giving the reader the correct impression that China's past is as important as her present.

In general the book also gives the reader a great deal of handy charts to keep track of dynasties and people. A very well written account,

Seth J. Frantzman
50 de 57 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Complete, descriptive, objective 2 de febrero de 2009
Por Sid Sheng - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura
I bought and read this book because I am Chinese but know nothing about Chinese history (having grown up in Australia), so I was probably always going to enjoy this book.

After reading this book, I've learnt that China's history is very complicated, but Keay does a fantastic job to provide objectively a good picture of each era. He is very descriptive on the important moments in Chinese history (it's impossible to fit every moment of Chinese history in a book of this size), so after reading this book, the reader is likely to remember these important points in Chinese history.

The maps are also very helpful to get an idea of all the warfare that was going on. I thought more maps would have even been better, and more pictures/portraits/photos (e.g. of important emperors and other leaders) would have also been good as it puts a face to a name.

I am not a frequent reader, but I can still tell that Keay chooses his words carefully and skillfully. I had to reach for the dictionary plenty of times. Hopefully someone with a better vocabulary base can appreciate this aspect more than myself.
36 de 41 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
1.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Unreadable 6 de enero de 2015
Por DK Whitsell - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa blanda
D.K. Whitsell
Temple University Japan
B.A. East Asian Studies UM Asia

I've spent more than my fair share of time pouring over texts on China for both academic and professional purposes in the East Asian studies field. I understand that an attempt to condense the vast intricacies of Chinese history and culture into a comprehensive book is no easy task, and many of us are still waiting for the day a hallmark, standard text will come to light that leaves no questions to the reader. But from the moment I cracked open this book, which was bought more or less as one more supplementary text to add to my collection on history, I was completely lost.

An author cannot hold the hand of a reader, but when we're talking about thousands of years of history, there needs to be a standard breakdown of individual periods on a timeline. What I found just perusing the first chapter was nothing more than a few significant names and dates here and there, followed by offhand tangents on completely unrelated subject matter. The first chapter alone attempts to cram three dynasties, archaeological findings, writing systems, family structures, and more, all within only 25 pages. With as much jumping around as this book does, I would be impressed if a reader who had finished the first few chapters of the book would even be able to list the first five major dynasties in order, and maybe a few facts that actually distinguishes each dynasty from the next. The author likes to use catchy quip titles to chapters, such as "Rites to Writing," "Within and Beyond," and "Caving In," but these chapter headings mean nothing to a reader who is not familiar with a broken down timeline of Chinese history. I hate to say it (for fear of sounding elementary ), but a much more effective way of tackling Chinese history would be to simply break down chapters into "Xia Dynasty," "Shang Dynasty," "Zhou Dynasty," and so on.

All in all, if this is the first book you've ever picked up on Chinese history, then you may not pick up on the inherent flaws of how this text is organized. But for those who are more versed in Chinese history texts, you'll find that this book is essentially unreadable. If you're looking for a step by step breakdown of Chinese history throughout the ages that follows an easy, chronological order, this book is not it.
27 de 30 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Worth buying. 11 de marzo de 2012
Por StillLearning - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura
I was looking for a good over-view of chinese history without an obvious bias or emphasis on a particular era. I found this book excellent in its scope and largely fulfilled what I was looking for. At over 500 pages it takes time to get through, but it is sufficiently well written to be enjoyable and interesting enough so that you do not want to give up.

It terms of over-all balance there are a four areas that I felt were slightly lacking. The first is on the coverage of Ghengis Khan. He only gets a few pages despite founding a dynasty. The second is a coherent perspective on the Japanese occupation. Although the topic is covered it is dispersed throughout the text and not treated as a subject in its own right. I think that this is quite an important topic in understanding contemporary China and its relationship with Japan. There is no mention of Unit 731 in Harbin (where the Japanese committed major atrocities) and the denial by the Japanese of the Nanjing/Nanking massacre for example. The third topic that I thought was inadequately and insensitively addressed was the destruction of the old Summer Palace by French and British expeditionary forces. He states "Though no great loss to architecture, it was a body blow to Qing prestige". He makes no reference to the loss of innocent lives ( those who were burned to death), nor the destruction of hundreds of years worth of priceless chinese historical artifacts and cultural treasures (other than to describe the palace as a "fanciful Louvre"). The forth topic treated rather superficially was that of the philosophical underpinnings of Daoism, Confucianism, Legalism and Moism. To be fair to the author some of these topics are very large in themselves and perhaps we might not expect them to be covered in depth, without removing some other key passage.

The impact of the West on China was treated largely from a Western perspective, and was probably far less critical than a Chinese perspective would be. Whilst the author does not codone the actions of the West, he also does not criticize it heavily. This is fairly typical of the book, in that we are allowed to come to our own conclusions without filtering out the value judgments of the author.

In a perfect version of this book, I would like to see modern simplified Chinese characters included for Chinese names, however this is likely to be of more interest for those studying the Chinese language. I would certainly buy a revised copy of the book and read it again if these were included.

On reading this book, I was left with an impression of the incredible suffering that the Chinese people have had to endure throughout their history due to dynastic change and internecine fighting. The richness and complexity of Chinese history is difficult to comprehend, but this book seems to be a reasonable place to start.
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