China is poised to become the world's largest economy in the next decade. But its great struggle to modernise has been one of tragedy, conflict, and challenge. From the first attempts to introduce Western ideas into the country two centuries ago, China's long march to global primacy has been above all an epic fight to renew an ancient country and culture.    

Leading Sinologist Kerry Brown traces this quest for renewal through the major moments of China’s modern history. Taking the reader on a journey that includes war, revolution, famine and finally regeneration, he describes concisely and authoritatively where China has come from, and where it is heading as it achieves great power status. This is a story that is no longer just about China, but concerns the rest of the world.
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  • September 2020
  • 224 pages
  • 117 x 176 mm / 5 x 7 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509541478
  • Paperback $14.95
  • 9781509541485
  • Open eBook $12.00
  • 9781509541492
Table of Contents
Chapter One: China’s Arduous March to Modernity
Chapter Two: China Reconstructs (1949-1958)                    
Chapter Three:  The Years of Dissent (1956 -1966) 
Chapter Four: The Great Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)
Chapter Five: Reform and Opening Up (1978-1989)
Chapter Six: Starting Over after Tiananmen (1989-2001) 
Chapter Seven: The Hu Jintao Era (2001-2012)
Chapter Eight: China’s Dream Realised under Xi Jinping?    
Further Reading 
About the Author
Kerry Brown is Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London.
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'Written by a leading China scholar, the book provides a concise, compelling and cutting-edge analysis of 70 years of the PRC history.'
Yanzhong Huang, Seton Hall University and Council on Foreign Relations

'Professor Brown’s highly accessible and insightful analysis of the historical antecedents of China’s post-1978 development helpfully contextualizes the momentous changes that have transformed China into a global superpower.'
Robert Ash, SOAS

'Kerry Brown always seems to have an apt anecdote or telling quote to enliven this narrative of China’s rise. Not unexpectedly, nationalism lies at the core.'
Joseph Fewsmith, Boston University

"Kerry Brown’s insightful book is an essential read for whoever seeks to understand the real intentions of the decision-makers in Beijing."

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