An accessible, authoritative single-volume narrative history of China, from the earliest times to the present day, designed both to engage the general reader and to challenge the horizons of the China specialist.
Most histories of China appear to have been written by sinologists for sinologists. As China rejoins and perhaps comes to dominate our world order, the need for an authoritative yet engaging history is universally acknowledged.Modelled on the author's own 'India: A History', 'China: A History' is informed by a wide knowledge of the Asian context, an approach devoid of Euro-centric bias, and acclaimed narrative skills. Broadly chronological, the book presents a history of all the Chinas - including those regions (Yunnan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Mongolia, Manchuria) that account for two thirds of the People's Republic of China land mass but which barely feature in its conventional history (which tends to concentrate on the succession of mainly north China imperial dynasties).The book also examines the many non-Chinese elements in China's history - the impact of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity; the effects of trade; the nature of 'barbarian' invasion; the relevance of many imperial dynasties being of non-Chinese origin.Major archaeological discoveries in the last two decades afford a chance to flesh out and correct much of the written record. 'China: A History' will tell the epic story from the time of the Three Dynasties (2000-220 BC) to Chairman Mao and the current economic transformation of the country.
John Keay is the author of four acclaimed histories: 'The Honourable Company,' about the East India Company; 'Last Post', about the imperial disengagement of the Far East; the two-volume 'Explorers of the Western Himalayas' and 'India: A History'. His books on India include 'India Discovered', 'Into India' and 'The Great Arc: The Dramatic Tale of How India was Mapped and Everest was Named'. John Keay is married with four children, lives in Scotland and is co-editor with Julia Keay of the 'Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland'.