Providing historical insights essential to the understanding of contemporary China, this text presents a nation's story of trauma and growth during the early twentieth century. It explains how China's defeat by Japan in 1895 prompted an explosion of radical reform proposals and the beginning of elite Chinese disillusionment with the Qing government. The book explores how this event also prompted five decades of efforts to strengthen the state and the nation, democratize the political system, and build a fairer and more unified society.
Peter Zarrow weaves narrative together with thematic chapters that pause to address in-depth themes central to China's transformation. While the book proceeds chronologically, the chapters in each part examine particular aspects of these decades in a more focused way, borrowing from methodologies of the social sciences, cultural studies, and empirical historicism. Essential reading for both students and instructors alike, it draws a picture of the personalities, ideas and processes by which a modern state was created out of the violence and trauma of these decades.
'The book is both richly descriptive and highly analytical, breaking down discipline boundaries to provide a fuller picture of Chinese society during the late Qing and Republican periods.' - China Journal
'Innovative, vivid and engaging, this book provides an excellent basis for the ongoing study of the Chinese revolution.' - China Journal
Part 1: The Road to Revolution, 1895-1919 Prologue: The Boxers: The State of China on the Eve of the Twentieth Century 1. The Rise of Confucian Radicalism 2. 1911: History and Historiography 3. Ideas and Ideals in the Fall of the Qing 4. From the Military Dictator to the Warlords 5. Social Conditions in the Countryside 6. Urban Social Change 7. Intellectuals, the Republic and a New Culture Part 2: Nationalism and Revolution, 1919-1937 8. Politics and Culture in the May Fourth Movement 9. National Identity, Marxism, and Social Justice 10. The Rise of Political Parties 11. Ideology and Power in the Nationalist Revolution 12. The Northern Expedition and the Rise of Chiang Kai-shek 13. The Nanjing Decade, 1928-1937: The Guomindang Era 14. Peasants and Communists Part 3: War and Revolution, 1937-1949 15. The War of Resistance, 1937-1945 16. Mao, Maoism, and the Communist Party 17. Revolution and Civil War