This is China: The First 5,000 Years

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This Is China contains, in brief, everything we need to know about 5,000 years of history, 30 years of "opening," and a future that promises to shape the 21st century for all of us. Drawn from the vast resources of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, this concise 120-page book is recommended for classroom use, curriculum development, and student review.

This Is China: The First 5,000 Years (This World of Ours) (Kindle Edition)


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"It is hard to imagine that such a short book can cover such a vast span of time and space. This Is China: The First 5,000 Years will help teachers, students, and general readers alike, as they seek for a preliminary guide to the contexts and complexities of Chinese culture."
—Jonathan Spence, professor of history, Yale University; author of The Search for Modern China

This Is China contains, in brief, everything we need to know about 5,000 years of history, 30 years of “opening,” and a future that promises to shape the 21st century for all of us. Drawn from the vast resources of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, this concise 120-page book is recommended for classroom use, curriculum development, and student review.

Whether you are a student or a businessperson, an educator or just someone who follows news and wants to be in the know about the world’s largest economy and the biggest threat to U.S. dominance in areas as diverse as technology and sports, This Is China will get you up to speed.

China is not inscrutable but it is different, with its own rich history and long-established values and customs. We named this book after repeatedly hearing the phrase, “Well, this is China” and “But this is China” when we began traveling there. It does take a special effort—and the right teachers—to get to a point of understanding and familiarity. This Is China covers all the bases, with sections on every aspect of China selected from Berkshire’s Encyclopedia of China and other expert sources, and checked by experts inside and outside China.

“This Is China: The First 5,000 Years provides a superb historically based foundation for the beginning language student to understand the importance of those “first 5,000 years” in shaping the modern language. The inclusion of the Chinese characters and pinyin for each of the section headings is an added bonus.”
—Scott McGinnis, academic advisor and professor, Defense Language Institute, Washington Office

“This little book should quickly become the first port of call for teachers seeking information on the vast range of topics and issues that arise while teaching a language and culture more than 5,000 years in existence. It is a reference book which fills the gap constantly experienced by teachers of Chinese between too much information on some topics and nothing at all on many others.”
—Jane Orton, director, Australian Chinese Teacher Training Centre, University of Melbourne