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Synopsis

Many nations define themselves in terms of territory or people; China defines itself in terms of history. With the world’s longest tradition of history-writing, its extraordinary past ought to be common knowledge. China, by the eminent historian John Keay, should make it so.

Informed by the latest research and enlivened by wit and anecdote, Keay’s narrative spans 5,000 years, from the Three Dynasties (2000–220 BC) to Deng Xiaoping’s opening of China and the past three decades of economic growth. Broadly chronological, the book presents a history of all the Chinas-including regions (Yunnan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Mongolia, Manchuria) that account for two-thirds of the People’s Republic of China land mass but which barely feature in its conventional history.

Crisp, judicious, and engaging, China is destined to become the classic single-volume history for anyone seeking to understand the past, present, and future of this immensely powerful nation.

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