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The Cambridge Illustrated History of China Paperback – Illustrated, 25 January 2010
- Publisher : Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (25 January 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0521124336
- ISBN-13 : 978-0521124331
- Best Sellers Rank: 9,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The book covers Chinese history from earliest times through to the 2008 Olympic games and beyond. Each period of history is given its own chapter, which is especially helpful if, like I was, one is studying the dynastic period.
The university module in question covers the dynastic period, so that was the only part of the book that I studied in any great detail. Each chapter is detailed and interesting, easy to read and contains lots of "boxes" that include information that might not be essential for the comprehension of the particular dynasty, but are often interesting little titbits about artists or other great men, paintings, cultural icons or even the great wall. The lion's share of the book is given over to the dynastic period but it also include a few brief chapters on the history of China since 1900. They do not go into the greatest detail, but I think they are detailed enough and highlight all the major events of the period.
The numerous images throughout the book are a pleasant addition. Many of them are full colour and most double page spreads have at least one picture to break up the large blocks of text.
Ebrey's writing style is engaging and easy to read, making this book pleasant, enjoyable and not too heavy. I think that the book is perfect for those who are looking for an academic textbook, but also the more casual historian who is looking for an introduction to Chinese history. For the casual historian, this book would make excellent bed time reading as well.