For the Chinese, the 2008 Beijing Olympics were far more than a sports event.
They were part of an ongoing effort to restore China's past greatness and remove the lingering memories of history's humiliations. This widely praised book explores the 1500-1800 period before China's decline, when the country was widely viewed as a leading world culture and power. Europe, by contrast, was in the early stages of emerging from provincial to international status while the United States was still an uncharted wilderness. D. E. Mungello argues that this earlier era, ironically, may contain more relevance for today than the more recent past. This fully revised third edition retains the clear and concise quality of its predecessors, while adding striking illustrations and new scholarship on female infanticide in China and the sometimes tragic stories of Chinese visitors to eighteenth-century Europe. Drawing on the author's decades of research and teaching, this compelling book illustrates the vital importance of history to readers trying to understand today's world.