Chinese Roundabout by Jonathan D SpenceChinese Roundabout by Jonathan D Spence

Chinese Roundabout

byJonathan D Spence

Paperback | May 1, 1993

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The spirit of adventure is at the heart of Jonathan Spence's widely acclaimed scholarship on the modern history of China. This vitality, fleshed out with deep research and attired in elegant style, has drawn countless readers to subjects otherwise approachable only by experts. Through eight books, from the story of the early eighteenth century Manchu bondservant Ts'ao Yin to his magisterial history, The Search for Modern China, Spence has made the excitement of intellectual discovery palpable for us all. In the course of his fruitful career Spence has written many shorter pieces as well, and the best of these are collected for the first time in Chinese Roundabout. Here the reader will meet Arcadio Huang, the Chinese linguist and Christian convert who moves from south China to Enlightenment Paris, marries a French woman, and in conversations with Montesquieu becomes the likely source for the Persian Letters. The poignant story of Huang's hard-won success and final defeat by poverty and disease illustrates the perils of crossing cultures. Spence's delight in intellectual risk animates his Shakespearean approach to the life of the great Qing emperor in "The Seven Ages of K'ang-hsi." Spence's great learning informs an authoritative essay on China's tragic experience with opium. Following the social process of addiction from the cultivation of poppies and the processing of the drug through its introduction by the British into China, its widespread distribution and consumption by Chinese, and the public struggle to suppress opium use, Spence explores issues of historical and contemporary interest. In an equally substantial piece he focuses on the cultural dimensions of food in Qing China,illuminating the marginal diet of a peasantry constantly threatened by famine as well as the grand banquets of the literati and the imperial household. There are in addition generous and insightful assessments of new work in the modern China field as well as moving tributes to the o
Jonathan D. Spence was born in England and received his B.A. from Cambridge University. In 1966 he received his Ph.D. from Yale University and has been a professor of Chinese history there since that time. Spence has won a variety of major fellowships and has served as visiting professor at Belfast's Queens University, Princeton Univer...
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Title:Chinese RoundaboutFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9.25 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:May 1, 1993Publisher:W W Norton

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393309940

ISBN - 13:9780393309942

Reviews

From Our Editors

Jonathan Spence has the art, as he amply demonstrates once again in Chinese Roundabout, the collection of essays that the Chicago Tribune praised as 'surprising, entertaining, and inspired.'