This book is intended primarily for serious students of geography but it will also appeal to the general reader. For this reason technical terms have been used as sparingly as is consistent with correct meaning. Wherever the subject matter permits, the author emphasizes geographical growth and shows the interaction of geographical environment and the human activity and institutions. When originally published in the 1960s China was beginning to change with breathtaking rapidity. These changes are presented here against geographical and historical background. Knowledge of the environmental facts is essential to an appreciation of the political, economic, and social problems that have faced the Chinese people.
The book has been arranged in four sections: Physical, Historical, Economic, and Regional. Such a treatment necessarily involves some repetition but this, in some ways, is an advantage as it serves to emphasize the fact that the sections are themselves very closely interlocked. No apology is needed for including a considerable historical geographical section. The subjects treated under this heading are a few choice plums selected from a basketful of excellent fruit. No attempt has been made at a connected historical surveyor treatment.
This compact work, exceptionally well illustrated with over 100 plates, maps, and diagrams, includes a comprehensive bibliography, glossary and conversion tables. It will be a basic reference book and teaching aid for geographers, historians, economists and all those concerned with understanding China's developments in the last century.