Chans Great Continent: China In Western Minds by Jonathan D SpenceChans Great Continent: China In Western Minds by Jonathan D Spence

Chans Great Continent: China In Western Minds

byJonathan D Spence

Paperback | August 15, 1999

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China has transfixed the West since the earliest contacts between these civilizations. With his characteristic elegance and insight, Jonathan Spence explores how the West has understood China over seven centuries. Ranging from Marco Polo's own depiction of China and the mighty Khan, Kublai, in the 1270s to the China sightings of three twentieth-century writers of acknowledged genius-Kafka, Borges, and Calvino-Spence conveys Western thought on China through a remarkable array of expression. Peopling Spence's account are Iberian adventurers, Enlightenment thinkers, spinners of the dreamy cult of Chinoiserie, and American observers such as Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Ezra Pound, and Eugene O'Neill. Taken together, these China sightings tell us as much about the self-image of the West as about China. "Wonderful. . . . Spence brilliantly demonstrates [how] generation after generation of Westerners [have] asked themselves, 'What is it . . . that held this astonishing, diverse, and immensely populous land together?' "--New York Times Book Review
Jonathan D. Spence is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University, where he has taught for thirty years. He has been awarded MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. The Search for Modern China won the Lionel Gelber Award and the Kiriyama Book Prize.
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Title:Chans Great Continent: China In Western MindsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.8 inPublished:August 15, 1999Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:039331989X

ISBN - 13:9780393319897

Reviews

From Our Editors

This thought-provoking book reveals what the West knows and thinks about China. The Chan’s Great Continent draws on seven centuries of history to show how we view Kublai Khan, Iberian adventurers, Enlightenment thinkers and more. Though we do learn a lot about China, the reader can also interpret much about the West’s own self-image.