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The Open Empire: A History Of China To 1800 (Second Edition) by Valerie Hansen

The Open Empire: A History Of China To 1800 (Second Edition) by Valerie Hansen

The Open Empire: A History Of China To 1800 (Second Edition) is a book that explores the rich and diverse history of China from ancient times to the dawn of the modern era. The author, Valerie Hansen, is a professor of history at Yale University and an expert on Chinese culture and society. She uses the concept of the "open empire" to highlight the dynamic, porous nature of China's past, showing how China interacted with other peoples and civilizations throughout its history.

The Open Empire: A History Of China To 1800 (Second Edition).epub

The book is divided into four parts, covering different periods and themes of Chinese history. The first part, "Inventing China (ca. 1500 B.C.E.-200 C.E.)", traces the origins of Chinese civilization, the emergence of writing, the development of philosophy and religion, and the creation of the first unified empire under Qin and Han dynasties. The second part, "Facing West (C.E. 200-1000)", examines the religious diversity of China, the golden age of Tang dynasty, and the impact of foreign invasions and migrations on China's culture and politics. The third part, "Facing North (1000-1600)", focuses on the economic and social changes of Song dynasty, the conquest and rule of China by non-Chinese peoples such as Khitans, Jurchens, Mongols, and Manchus, and the rise and fall of Ming dynasty. The fourth part, "The Qing Empire (1600-1800)", discusses the expansion and consolidation of Qing empire, the challenges and opportunities of global trade and contact, and the cultural and intellectual developments of late imperial China.

The book is based on a rich variety of archaeological and literary sources, including oracle bones, bronze vessels, silk manuscripts, stone inscriptions, paintings, poems, novels, official documents, travelers' accounts, and more. The author also provides many illustrations, maps, timelines, tables, charts, and boxes to help readers visualize and understand the complex and fascinating history of China. The book is written in an engaging and accessible style, with clear explanations and analysis of key concepts and events. The book also includes a glossary of terms, a list of suggested readings, a bibliography, and an index.

The Open Empire: A History Of China To 1800 (Second Edition) is an innovative and comprehensive introduction to early Chinese history that will appeal to students, scholars, and general readers who are interested in learning more about one of the world's oldest and most influential civilizations.

One of the main themes of the book is the openness of China to external influences and exchanges. Hansen argues that China was never a closed or isolated civilization, but rather a dynamic and diverse one that constantly interacted with other peoples and cultures across Eurasia and beyond. She shows how China adopted and adapted foreign ideas, technologies, religions, goods, and peoples, and how China also influenced and contributed to the world history through its inventions, discoveries, trade, diplomacy, and migration. She challenges the stereotypes and myths that often portray China as a monolithic, static, or xenophobic entity.

Another theme of the book is the diversity and complexity of China's internal development and transformation. Hansen emphasizes that China was not a single or homogeneous entity, but rather a collection of different regions, cultures, languages, ethnicities, religions, and social groups that coexisted and competed within the framework of the empire. She explores how China's political, economic, social, and cultural systems evolved over time in response to internal and external challenges and opportunities. She also examines how ordinary people lived and experienced their daily lives in different historical contexts and settings.

The book is not only a history of China, but also a history of the world as seen from China's perspective. Hansen situates China's history within the broader context of global history, showing how China was connected to and affected by the major events and trends that shaped the world history. She also compares and contrasts China's history with other regions and civilizations, such as India, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. She highlights the similarities and differences between China and other parts of the world, as well as the mutual influences and interactions among them. 0efd9a6b88


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