Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom. China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York Oxford University Press, ISBN ; ISBN . China in the 21st Century has ratings and 52 reviews. Ryanofthenorth said: Concise survey that hits some of the highlights of Chinese history and cul. China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know by Jeffrey Wasserstrom Oxford University Press stars. Alexandre HuiBonHoa.

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China in the 21st Century: Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, provides an essential guide for understanding how China has become what it is today.

A foolproof “Chinese history for dummies” book, it clears up misconceptions and offers a prediction of the mainland’s future. The book is split into two parts: The former gives a brief – sometimes too brief – introduction to China’s history. Wasserstrom does an effective job of dipping the reader’s toes in the deep and wild waters of Chinese history with direct and easy-to-follow information.

He doesn’t bog the reader down with heavy details, focusing on being informative rather than be overly detailed. There are constant references to Western history and culture, and current events, making the mainland’s history relevant and relatable.

Book review: ‘China in the 21st Century’, by Jeffrey Wasserstrom

Though this book works well in its attempt to give readers a brief insight into China, there fhina some areas which require more depth because of their importance in Chinese history.


For example, the explanation of the Taiping Rebellion, which wsaserstrom the first instance of total war in modern China, is too short and touches more upon the leader, Hong Xiuquan, than the actual event.

For such an important incident, there needs to be more substance. In the second part of the book, Wasserstrom successfully clarifies our misconceptions about modern China by answering questions such as “why is China’s diversity overlooked?

In the final chapter, Wasserstrom presents a set of forecasts and provides insightful answers to troubling political matters surrounding China today and in the near future. A unique, but for the most part, frustrating aspect of the book is the way in which it is written.

There are times when the waswerstrom proves to be successful with questions such as “is Mao seen in China as someone who made errors?

However, the way questions and answers are structured makes dates and important figures confusing to follow because the events do not flow wassetstrom a chronological order. It is only after the question “is the Chinese Communist Party a new dynasty? And Yuan is only introduced in the next chapter, after the explanation of the fall of the Qing dynasty.

Overall, China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know is a worthwhile read at a time when getting a grip on Wasserstro, background is vital.

China in the 21st Century

Although limited at times, the book’s succinct information sets the basis for more focused, in-depth books on Chinese history. Finally, but most notably, what distinguishes this book from many others is Wasserstrom’s convincing answers to the most misunderstood questions and current issues that revolve around China today. Skip to main content. Sunday, 04 August, Sunday, 04 August,2: Lifestyle Hong Kong stories you liked best inand some of our favourites 26 Dec The wasserstorm could have been written in a chronological narrative to help avoid any confusion.

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Book review: ‘China in the 21st Century’, by Jeffrey Wasserstrom | South China Morning Post

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China in the 21st Century – Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom – Oxford University Press

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