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An Intellectual History of Modern China

An Intellectual History of Modern China is the only comprehensive book in English on modern China’s intellectual development from the nineteenth to the end of the twentieth century.

While existing studies tend to focus on individual Chinese thinkers, this book includes all the major Chinese thinkers, as well as political figures who have influenced China’s modern history. Merle Goldman and Leo Ou-fan Lee introduce this collection of essays, drawn from the later volumes (Volumes 12, 13, 14, 15) of The Cambridge History of China. The chapters, authored by eminent historians and social scientists in the field of Chinese studies, together trace the transformation of Confucian ideas, the introduction of Western views and the resulting, uniquely Chinese view of the world.

By linking key intellectual developments and figures to emerging political movements, they explain the profound impact of changing ideas and values on Chinese politics and revolution. Merle Goldman brings the history up to date with a new, concluding chapter on the post-Mao era and China’s intellectual scene at the end of the twentieth century. This book offers a summation of classic scholarship on the intellectual life of modern China. Scholars and students will find useful general background, incisive analysis, and inspiration for future research in China’s intellectual history.

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