China Since 1949: 3rd Edition (e-Book) book cover

China Since 1949

3rd Edition

By Linda Benson


218 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Exploring the remarkable story of China’s rise to global prominence, China since 1949 provides a concise yet comprehensive overview of the events that have shaped the country since the middle of the twentieth century.

Covering the Maoist era through the Reform period to the present day, this book addresses subjects such as China’s position as a world economic power, the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of ethnic minorities, women’s experiences under the Communist regime, and China’s human rights record. Fully updated throughout, the third edition includes:

  • a new chapter focusing on China since 2010
  • discussion of current issues such as China’s territorial disputes, computer hacking and cyber-espionage, corruption, leadership changes, and the slowing of China’s economic growth
  • extensively revised chapters on China and the World and on Government, Politics and the Economy
  • An updated selection of primary source documents.

Also containing a chronology of events from 1949 to 2015, a Who’s Who of key figures, a glossary and a guide to further reading, China Since 1949 is an accessible and engaging introduction to China’s recent past and essential reading for students of modern Chinese history.


"Benson presents an authoritative introduction to an essential chapter of world history. In a crisp narrative and well-chosen accompanying materials, she provides a solid foundation for understanding China in recent history and its global role today."

Jeremy A. Murray, California State University, San Bernardino, USA

"Professor Benson offers a balanced and succinct introduction to the history of the PRC. A particular strength is her analysis of the challenges facing China, such as environmental crisis and economic inequality, as well as the opportunities created by market reforms. The text is supplemented with a useful glossary and more than thirty key documents illustrating the momentous changes China has experienced through revolution and reform."

Joshua Howard, University of Mississippi, USA

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. A note on romanization and pronunciation of Chinese words. List of figures. Chronology. Who's who. Glossary. Map. Part One: China's Past 1. General Introduction 2. Geographical and Historical Background Part Two: China Under the Communist Party 3. China's New Revolutionary Road, 1949-57 4. The Radical Maoist Phase, 1958-76 5. Building Reform-Era China, 1977-89 6. Deepening Reform: China in the 1990s 7. Challenges in the 1990s 8. Social change after 2000 9. China Under President Hu 10. President Xi and the Chinese Dream 11. China and the World Part 3: Assessing China's Rise Part 4. Documents Further reading. References. Index.

About the Series

Seminar Studies

Each book in the Seminar Studies series provides a concise and reliable introduction to a wide range of complex historical events and debates, covering topics in British, European, US and world history from the early modern period to the present day. Written by acknowledged experts and including supporting material such as extracts from historical documents, chronologies, glossaries, guides to key figures and further reading suggestions, Seminar Studies titles are essential reading for students of history.

Almost half a century after its launch, the series continues to introduce students to the problems involved in explaining the past, giving them the opportunity to grapple with historical documents and encouraging them to reach their own conclusions. To submit proposals for new books in the Seminar Studies series, please contact the series editors:

Clive.Emsley: clive.emsley @

Gordon Martel: Gordon.Martel @

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Asia / China
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century