Modern China: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Modern China: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Language: English

Pages: 168

ISBN: 0198753705

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


China today is never out of the news: from international finance to human rights controversies, global coverage of its rising international presence, and the Chinese 'economic miracle'. It seems to be a country of contradictions: a peasant society with some of the world's most futuristic cities, heir to an ancient civilization that is still trying to find a modern identity.

This Very Short Introduction offers the reader an entry to understanding the world's most populous nation, giving an integrated picture of modern Chinese society, culture, economy, politics, and art. In this new edition, Rana Mitter addresses China's current global position, accounting for the country's growth in global significance over the past decade.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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to the nation. The policy itself was derived from a variety of sources, including Confucianism, muscular Christianity, and Social Darwinism. Despite its anti-communism, it shared many values and assumptions with the CCP, with its stress on frugality and collective values. Yet it never had much success. While China suffered from a massive agricultural and fiscal crisis, prescriptions about clothes and orderly behavior did not have much popular traction. Chiang Kai-shek’s wife, Song Meiling, a

Leap helped to redefine women’s roles, stressing their status as workers of equal standing to men. Yet the Great Leap Forward was a monumental failure. It can hardly be defined as anything else, as its methods caused a massive famine whose effects were dismissed by Mao, and caused at least 20 million deaths. Its modernizing aims were dashed in the face of reality. Yet the return to a more pragmatic economic model in agriculture and industry when the Leap ended in 1962 did not dampen Mao’s

politically less liberal, although just as strong an economic reformer. The complaints of the intellectuals were not just abstract, however. Most of them—in particular academics and students at universities—were on fixed state incomes, and as inflation began to run rife in newly rich reform-era China, they began to find that their income was rapidly becoming insufficient to cover their needs. In April 1989, Hu Yaobang died. It was a long-standing tradition in China that the death of a

handbook dealing with a wide range of historical and contemporary topics. Richard Curt Kraus, The Party and the Arty: The New Politics of Culture (Lanham, MD, 2004): clear explanation of how China’s art and cultural world has entered the commercial era. Norman Stockman, Understanding Chinese Society (Cambridge, 2000): detailed introduction to changes and continuities in Chinese social structures. PICTURE CREDITS • ASSOCIATED PRESS: ii: AP Photo/STR; 16: AP Photo/Lo Sai Hung; 88: AP

Images; 91: John Dominis/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images; 92–93: Ollie Atkins/White House/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images; 150: Tim Graham/Getty Images; 170: China Photos/Getty Images; 189: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images. COURTESY OF PRINTS & PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS: 12: LC-USZ62-80206; 14: LC-USZ62-62611; 19: LC-USZ62-103089; 22: LC-USZ62-118823; 27: LC-USZ62-99590; 38: LC-USZ62-104087; 40: LC-USZ62-68811; 42: LC-USZ62-54327; 43: LC-USZ62-118532; 45: LC-USZ62-97149;

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