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Early Chinese Empires (History of Imperial China) Paperback – 1 Oct 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (1 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674057341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674057340
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 275,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Inaugurating a six-volume series on the history of imperial China, this volume holds that characteristics of the first Chinese empire broadly endured for the succeeding 2,000 years...[Those] planning to acquire the entire series mustn't omit Lewis' solid foundation. -- Gilbert Taylor Booklist 20070415 The standard multivolume history of China has long been the magisterial, exhaustive Cambridge History of China. Now Harvard University Press has announced a six-volume series that will cover the rise, development, and decline of dynastic China from the second century B.C.E. through the early 20th century in an up-to-date, compact, and approachable way. This opening volume by Lewis foretells that the series will become the new gold standard, as the author explains in clear and telling detail how the Qin dynasty ruthlessly defeated a succession of rivals to unify briefly what we now call China in 221 B.C.E. We then see how the succeeding Han dynasty (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.) combined social engineering and political savvy to institutionalize control and form a 'classical' era parallel to the Greeks and Romans in the West. Han imperial structures, including religion, literature, and law, were quite different from what evolved out of them, but Lewis convincingly argues that later societies cannot be understood without understanding this classical foundation. -- Charles W. Hayford Library Journal (starred review) 20070401 Mark Lewis's mind-opening and readable book reminds us of the enduring but changing realities of China. -- Jonathan Mirsky Times Literary Supplement 20080314 Early Chinese Empires is a brilliant example of nuanced, responsible popularization. As the first in a series of six volumes that will cover all of Imperial China, it sets a very high standard. --Grant Hardy The Historian 20090801

About the Author

Mark Edward Lewis is Kwoh-Ting Li Professor in Chinese Culture, Stanford University. Timothy Brook is Professor of History at the University of British Columbia.



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