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9781788735599

China's Revolutions in the Modern World A Brief Interpretive History

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781788735599

  • ISBN10:

    1788735595

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2020-01-28
  • Publisher: Verso Books

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Summary

A concise account of how revolutions made modern China and helped shape the modern world

China’s emergence as a twenty-first-century global economic, cultural, and political power is often presented as a story of what Chinese leader Xi Jinping calls the nation’s “great rejuvenation,” a story narrated as the return of China to its “rightful” place at the center of the world.

In China’s Revolutions in the Modern World, historian Rebecca E. Karl argues that China’s contemporary emergence is best seen not as a “return,” but rather as the product of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary activity and imaginings. From the Taipings in the mid-nineteenth century through nationalist, anti-imperialist, cultural, and socialist revolutions to today’s capitalist-inflected Communist State, modern China has been made in intellectual dissonance and class struggle, in mass democratic movements and global war, in socialism and anti-socialism, in repression and conflict by multiple generations of Chinese people mobilized to seize history and make the future in their own name. Through China’s successive revolutions, the contours of our contemporary world have taken shape. This brief interpretive history shows how.

Author Biography

Rebecca E. Karl is Professor of History at New York University-New York. She is the author of The Magic of Concepts: History and the Economic in Twentieth-Century China (2017); Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History (2010); and Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (2002). She is co-translator (with Xueping Zhong) of Cai Xiang’s Revolution and Its Narratives: China’s Socialist Literary and Cultural Imaginaries, 1949–1966 (2016). The above all published by Duke University Press. She is also co-translator and coeditor (with Lydia H. Liu and Dorothy Ko) of The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory (Columbia University Press 2013).

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