Title: China: History of China- History of an Empire: A Historical overview of China & East Asia. Including : Ancient China, Communism & Capitalism (Chinese…Medicine, Mao Zedung, Confucius Book 2)
Author: Raymond C Nelson
Publisher: Raymond C Nelson
Date of Publication: 26 August 2016
Genre: History/ Politics
“A journey of a thousand miles, / begins at one’s feet.” Dao De Jing
Raymond Nelson returns with yet another concise but detailed coverage of Chinese history in terms of its economic, political, cultural and religious heritage. The book begins with the task of clarifying the misconception that the isolation of China had made it weak and not as prosperous as its Western contemporaries. Though trading with the West had stopped abruptly during the Ming Dynasty but it only made it a strong economic driving force in the region. The book opens with a timeline of China’s dynastic leagues from the Prehistoric Times through the Xia, Shang, Qin, Xin, Sui, Liao dynasties to the modern day People’s Republic of China established in 1949. Some of these dynasties are elaborated in detail along with the workings of the famous Silk Route.
China has emerged as a modern rising nation though in the past it had to battle the invasion of Genghis Khan and his ancestors who marked a fairly long reign. Again during World War II, Mao Zedong’s Communist Party allied with the Nationalist party to take a leap forward in Chinese politics. This became a major turning point in Chinese history and can be seen as laying the ethic of combining industry and agriculture which is very inclined towards the betterment of the working classes and is anti- capitalist. Despite the ups and downs China’s significant role in the entrepreneurial global chessboard and its influence cannot be denied. The book also shows China’s remarkable online growth in spite of its state controlled media. Very summarily, it also sketches the growing smartphone and fashion industry that has been able to create rippling effects globally, making China a tough global competitor. Further, the book shows the stages of development in the Chinese language and script along with chapters on the therapeutic effects of Chinese medicinal practices. Chinese religious beliefs and cultural mores find mention in their influence, depth and far reaching appeal. An aspect of China’s outreach is its film industry full of world famous actors and composers. While their folk tales talk about the rich culture, the various tourist attractions give an idea about the beauty of Chinese landscape and makes the book a good introductory guide for those planning their next trip to China. On the whole though Nelson seems to be giving more emphasis on successful Chinese foreign policies by sketching out China’s relations with various Western (first) world countries, Nelson chooses only to dwell on the best and positive aspects. Chinese societal or environmental issues do not find any mention. The information, thus, is rather basic and generalised which makes the book a tad bit lengthy but it definitely covers most things Chinese. The lack of illustrations can make it hard to keep focus throughout but it can be a good introductory guide for those interested in China, Asia or the far East.