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Chinese roundabout : essays in history and culture

Author: Jonathan D Spence; Rogers D. Spotswood Collection.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, ©1992.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The spirit of adventure is at the heart of Jonathan Spence's widely acclaimed scholarship on the modern history of China. This vitality, fleshed out with deep research and attired in elegant style, has drawn countless readers to subjects otherwise approachable only by experts. Through eight books, from the story of the early eighteenth century Manchu bondservant Ts'ao Yin to his magisterial history, The Search for
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Genre/Form: Aufsatzsammlung
History
Essays
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan D Spence; Rogers D. Spotswood Collection.
ISBN: 0393033554 9780393033557
OCLC Number: 24467491
Description: xiii, 400 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: The Paris years of Arcadio Huang --
The peregrinations of Mendes Pinto --
Matteo Ricci and the ascent to Peking --
Gamble in China --
Malraux's Temptation --
Looking east : the long view --
The seven ages of K'ang-hsi --
The energies of Ming life --
A painter's circles --
Collapse of a purist --
A vibrant doctrine --
The dialogue of Chinese science --
Being Chinese --
Food --
Medicine --
Taxes --
Opium --
Cock's blood and Browning pistols --
Film and politics : Bai Hua's Bitter love --
Tiananmen --
Poetry and physics : the spirits of opposition --
Arthur Wright --
Arthur Waley --
John Fairbank --
Fang Chao-ying.
Responsibility: Jonathan D. Spence.

Abstract:

"The spirit of adventure is at the heart of Jonathan Spence's widely acclaimed scholarship on the modern history of China. This vitality, fleshed out with deep research and attired in elegant style, has drawn countless readers to subjects otherwise approachable only by experts. Through eight books, from the story of the early eighteenth century Manchu bondservant Ts'ao Yin to his magisterial history, The Search for Modern China, Spence has made the excitement of intellectual discovery palpable for us all." "In the course of his fruitful career Spence has written many shorter pieces as well, and the best of these are collected for the first time in Chinese Roundabout. Here the reader will meet Arcadio Huang, the Chinese linguist and Christian convert who moves from south China to Enlightenment Paris, marries a French woman, and in conversations with Montesquieu becomes the likely source for the Persian Letters. The poignant story of Huang's hard-won success and final defeat by poverty and disease illustrates the perils of crossing cultures. Spence's delight in intellectual risk animates his Shakespearean approach to the life of the great Qing emperor in "The Seven Ages of K'ang-hsi."" "Spence's great learning informs an authoritative essay on China's tragic experience with opium. Following the social process of addiction from the cultivation of poppies and the processing of the drug through its introduction by the British into China, its widespread distribution and consumption by Chinese, and the public struggle to suppress opium use, Spence explores issues of historical and contemporary interest. In an equally substantial piece he focuses on the cultural dimensions of food in Qing China, illuminating the marginal diet of a peasantry constantly threatened by famine as well as the grand banquets of the literati and the imperial household."

"There are in addition generous and insightful assessments of new work in the modern China field as well as moving tributes to the old hands of China scholarship. Readers will find all of the pieces collected here to be inspired by the joy of discovery that Spence brings to all his work."--Jacket.

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