Jonathan D. Spence held the position of Sterling Professor of History, Emeritus, at Yale University, and is well-known throughout the world for his insightful views on modern China. His books include The Death of Woman Wang (Penguin, 1979), To Change China: Western Advisers in China (Revised edition, Penguin, 1980), Return to Dragon Mountain: Memories of a Late Ming Man (Viking, 2007), and The Search for Modern China (Third edition, Norton, 2012). A graduate of the University of Cambridge and Yale University, Spence holds a number of honorary degrees, has served as president of the American Historical Association, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has held both a MacArthur and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has received the Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George from Queen Elizabeth II.

Last Updated: March 2, 2022

Forever Jade

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
A central crisis in modern Chinese letters has been caused by the need to take account of Western forms. Some writers adjusted eagerly to Western literature out of a sincere admiration for Western culture; some grudgingly, out of a total rejection...

Why Confucius Counts

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
One would be hard pressed, surveying any of the political cultures in human history, to find a parallel for the continuity, longevity, and vitality of Confucianism. This moral and ethical system was given initial shape in the fifth and fourth...

The Chinese Dream Machine

Jonathan D. Spence
Simple-looking questions make good starting points for books; for simple questions are usually very hard to answer, and if the author is skillful enough he elaborates the simple question until it is overlaid with hovering qualifications, doubts, and...