The Shortest History of China

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Journey across China's epic history—through millennia of early innovation to modern dominance 

As we enter the “Asian century,” China demands our attention for being an economic powerhouse, a beacon of rapid modernization, and an assertive geopolitical player. To understand the nation behind the headlines, we must take in its vibrant, tumultuous past—a story of “larger-than-life characters, philosophical arguments and political intrigues, military conflicts and social upheavals, artistic invention and technological innovation.”

The Shortest History of China charts a path from China’s tribal origins through its storied imperial era and up to the modern Communist Party under Xi Jinping—including the rarely told story of women in China and the specters of corruption and disunity that continue to haunt the People’s Republic today. A master storyteller and exacting historian, Linda Jaivin distills this vast history into a short, riveting account that today’s globally minded readers will find indispensable.