A Bitter Revolution: Chinas Struggle with the Modern World

Paperback | June 20, 2005

byRana MitterAs told byRana Mitter

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China is now poised to take a key role on the world stage, but in the early twentieth century the situation could not have been more different. Rana Mitter goes back to this pivotal moment in Chinese history to uncover the origins of the painful transition from a premodern past into a modernworld. By the 1920s the seemingly civilized world shaped over the last two thousand years by the legacy of the great philosopher Confucius was falling apart in the face of western imperialism and internal warfare. Chinese cities still bore the imprints of its ancient past with narrow, lanes and temples tolong-worshipped gods, but these were starting to change with the influx of foreign traders, teachers, and missionaries, all eager to shape China's ancient past into a modern present. Mitter takes us through the resulting social turmoil and political promise, the devastating war against Japan in the 1940s, Communism and the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, and the new era of hope in the 1980s ended by the Tian'anmen uprising. He reveals the impetus behind the dramatic changes inChinese culture and politics as being China's "New Culture" - a strain of thought which celebrated youth, individualism, and the heady mixture of strange and seductive new cultures from places as far apart as America, India, and Japan.

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China is now poised to take a key role on the world stage, but in the early twentieth century the situation could not have been more different. Rana Mitter goes back to this pivotal moment in Chinese history to uncover the origins of the painful transition from a premodern past into a modernworld. By the 1920s the seemingly civilized w...

Rana Mitter is University Lecturer in the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford, and Fellow of St Cross College. He is the author of The Manchurian Myth: Nationalism, Resistance, and Collaboration in Modern China (2000) and co-editor (with Patrick Major) of Across the Blocs: Cold War Cultural and Social Hist...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.83 inPublished:June 20, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019280605X

ISBN - 13:9780192806055

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Table of Contents

Part I: Shock1. Flashpoint - Beijing, May Fourth, 19192. A Tale of Two Cities: Beijing, Shanghai, and the May Fourth Generation3. Experiments in Happiness: Life and Love in New Culture China4. Goodbye Confucius: New Culture, New PoliticsPart II: Aftershock5. A Land of Death: Darkness over China6. Tomorrow the Whole World Will Be Red: The Cultural Revolution and the Distortions of May Fourth7. Ugly Chinamen and Dead Rivers: Reform and the 'New May Fourth'8. Learning to Let Go: The May Fourth Legacy in the New Millennium

Editorial Reviews

`With compelling prose and insightful analysis, Rana Mitter paints a brilliant, lively portrait critical to understanding the soul of modern China'Iris Chang, New York Times best-selling author of The Rape of Nanking