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£12.99
Published
7 September 2021
HB
9781910400920
Ebook
Press Release
Coming soon.
By Linda Jaivin:

 

China contains a multitude. Its unruly complexity is part of its grandeur.

Modern China is at once an economic powerhouse and authoritarian state, an increasingly assertive superpower and an icon of modernity. Chinese history is no less contradictory. Heroes to some are villains to others; times of peace and prosperity give way to violence and famine; creativity flourishes in the midst of censorship and repression.

Jaivin distils this vast, complex story into a vivid narrative, from ancient times to Xi Jinping, the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of the ‘wolf warriors’. She dismantles ideas of a monolithic China, revealing a nation of startling diversity. And she gives China’s women, from ancient warriors, inventors and rebels to their 21st-century counterparts, long overdue attention.

Finally, as age-old spectres of corruption and disunity continue to haunt the People’s Republic, she considers what lies ahead, both for China and the world.

Old Street Publishing The Shortest History of China

China contains a multitude. Its unruly complexity is part of its grandeur.

Modern China is at once an economic powerhouse and authoritarian state, an increasingly assertive superpower and an icon of modernity. Chinese history is no less contradictory. Heroes to some are villains to others; times of peace and prosperity give way to violence and famine; creativity flourishes in the midst of censorship and repression.

Jaivin distils this vast, complex story into a vivid narrative, from ancient times to Xi Jinping, the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of the ‘wolf warriors’. She dismantles ideas of a monolithic China, revealing a nation of startling diversity. And she gives China’s women, from ancient warriors, inventors and rebels to their 21st-century counterparts, long overdue attention.

Finally, as age-old spectres of corruption and disunity continue to haunt the People’s Republic, she considers what lies ahead, both for China and the world.

12.99
 
 

'Virtuoso… brings together statesmen, court chronicles, poetry, fiction, mythology, painting, pottery, pop music and myriad other sources to construct a fascinating, enormously dynamic portrait of a superpower. Essential reading.' —Professor Julia Lovell

 
 
  • 'Jaivin has a terrific eye for telling details and effortlessly turns a highly complex, sprawling story into a thoroughly informative and entertaining read.'
    The Age
  • 'Like Chinese ink paintings, capturing many shades between light and dark, Jaivin’s book is a colourful collection of key scenes from 3,000 years of history. For anyone who wants to understand China’s long past in a very short time, this is a must-read.'
    Xinran, author of China Witness: Voices from a Silent Generation
  • 'If you’ve been confused by how China’s past fits together with its present and Xi Jinping’s "wolf warrior diplomacy", this is the Rosetta stone.' —Orville Schell, Director of the Center for US-China Relations – Asia Society
  • 'A fast-paced and witty survey of China’s past. Jaivin knows her stuff but wears her erudition lightly. Iconoclastic, informative and more attentive to female figures than many comparable works. Highly recommended.'
    Jeffrey Wasserstrom, author of Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink
  • 'Jaivin defies the convention that China’s history is too big, too complex and too long to be handled succinctly. This book is the perfect jumping-off point.'
    James Carter, author of Champions Day: The End of Old Shanghai
  • 'So many people, so much history, so much culture – China's a challenge – but like a jade snuff bottle, this book holds it all in one finely chiselled vessel.'
    Jasper Becker, author of Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine
 
 
Linda Jaivin

Linda Jaivin is a translator, novelist, the author of several acclaimed works of non-fiction, and co-editor of The China Story Yearbook. She has lived in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Beijing, and has been writing about Chinese politics, culture and history for over three decades.