Based on a series of lectures given by Professor Jenner in New Zealand shortly after Tianenmen Square in 1989, this book examines the peculiarities of Chinese history, and of the unique burden that history places on present-day China, which the author sees in a state of serious crisis, possibly even of potential collapse.
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Modern Chinese history is a series of crises: the Opium War, the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the Communist takeover, the Cultural Revolution, and the Tiananmen Massacre. The most enduring civilization has been in a turbulent stage for over 100 years. What are the problems? In his "impressionistic" book, Jenner tries to link China's present situation to its past and claims that the fundamental problem is a flaw in Chinese tradition. Confucianism is blamed for economic stagnation, and the traditional family structure is seen as an obstacle to democracy. Jenner even finds the Chinese language an inferior medium of expression. The author, who admits that he "has not tried to present a balanced argument," offers such a bleak depiction of Chinese tradition that he feels the need to remind the reader repeatedly that he is not "anti-Chinese." Jenner's book is also marred by the lack of footnotes or any kinds of bibliographic references to materials used. Not recommended.
- Mark Meng , St. John's Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140146776 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.3021803
Book Description Penguin Books, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140146776