The Chinese Century: A Photographic History of the Last Hundred Years

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9780679449805: The Chinese Century: A Photographic History of the Last Hundred Years
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Chronicles historical events in the lives of rural peasants and the privileged elite from the time of the Qing dynasty to the People's Republic

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Jonathan D. Spence is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University.

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of the great question marks on the world stage as we approach the third millennium. No longer a sleeping giant, neither is China a stable ally of the West. Economically it is an emerging powerhouse, and politically it is precariously balanced between the free market and military dictatorship. There could be no better time to try to understand China's history--the distance it has traveled, and where it may be going from here--than today.

The Chinese Century tells the story in over two hundred and fifty rare, eloquent photographs that have been chosen from archives, libraries, and private collections throughout China, Taiwan, and the West. Many of the photographs have never been seen outside China.  Like a time machine, they let us see historical events that for most of us have existed until now only in words: the lives of the rural peasants and the privileged elite from the time of the Qing dynasty to the People's Republic, the opulence and squalor that the European

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