China: A History

Eminently accessible, yet rigorous, this engaging introduction to the political, social, and cultural development of Chinese civilization tells the story of China—from its beginnings to the present day—in a way that goes beyond simple, misleading accounts of a glorious civilization falling victim to Western and Japanese imperialism or of a supposedly isolated country only recently and reluctantly opening to the outside world. Woven into the narrative are the striking stories of heroes and villains, of women and men, of tragedy and comedy, of high culture and coarse humor, of extremes of wealth and poverty, of feast and famine, and of exquisite art and terrible suffering. Characteristic of Harold Tanner’s presentation is the development and carefully balanced recounting of important themes—such as the ethnic diversity of the early empires, interaction with other civilizations, and the challenge of transforming a multi-ethnic empire into a modern nation-state—that other histories of China omit entirely or discuss only minimally.   —Hackett Publishing Company

Harold M. Tanner
Hackett Publishing Company
March 6, 2009

Harold M. Tanner is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Texas. His research interests include modern Chinese criminal law, the history of the Chinese Communist Party, twentieth-century Chinese military history, and the People’s Liberation Army. He is the author of Strike Hard: Anti-Crime Campaigns and Chinese Criminal Justice, 1979-1985 (Cornell University East Asia Program, 1999) as well as a number of articles on issues related to the development of China’s criminal justice system in the 1980s and on the Manchurian theatre of the Chinese civil war. He is currently working on two books on the Chinese civil war in Manchuria.