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China and the West: A Short History of Their Contact from Ancient Times to the Fall of the Manchu Dynasty [Paperback]

William Edward Soothill
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jun 2009
Even before Chinese or Western writings recognized their great civilizations at either side of the compass, there was mercantile contact, with silk being coveted by the ancient Greeks and Romans without knowledge of its origin. At the fall of the Manchu Dynasty in the early twentieth century, when China began its modern restoration as a world power, China and the West had shared more than two millennia of history. Far from being a "sleeping dragon," China was actively expanding its international influence at many times during this period, but the decay, corruption, and wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - with Western nations controlling and compromising Chinese interests and territory - have prejudiced the popular perception of relations between China and the West. William Edward Soothill's brief and authoritative history, first published in 1925, is a welcome introduction to the long and fascinating contact between East and West. Covering every period and key personality before the twentieth century, from General Chang Ch'ien, a Chinese envoy who traveled west during the second century B. C., to Marco Polo, the Mongol ascendancy, the opening of sea routes, and the Opium War, and based on primary source material, China and the West is essential reading for any person interested in understanding China and Chinese culture.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Westholme Publishing, U.S. (1 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594160880
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594160882
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 16 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,020,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

William Edward Soothill (1861-1935) was a leading authority on Chinese language, life, and affairs, and a Professor of Chinese at Oxford University.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read 21 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great reference work which was a good accompaniment to 1841. It shows the miriad of inventions that the Chinese had made centuries before the European discoveries
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dated but still a superb read! 10 May 2010
Format:Paperback
First things first: this is a very good book. It is informative,easy to read, and well written. It is a comprehensive history of Chinese political interaction with the West. The early missionaries and explorers are here, as are the more recent conflicts and regimes which formed China up until the 1930's. The only trouble with this book is that it is so old-originally published in 1925. Almost a century has passed since then, and as a result the book can seem dated and dry in a few places.

Still, a very good book overall.
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