He is very much an appreciator of Chinese culture, but he has his own perspective which colors the disquisition. In particular, his Marxist sympathies are always in the background. Perhaps not surprisingly, he is highly dismissive of Taoist and Buddhist culture and feels that they diminished Chinese society. He also dismissed Confucius, although he seems to think that the later Confucian tradition to which he gives scant credit to the original teachings of Confucius was pretty good. In general he champions the Legalist tradition and its contributions to the later Confucian current. As a consequence, he is rather sympathetic towards the first Qin Emperor.

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From the Archaic Monarchy to the Centralized State: 1. The archaic monarchy; 2. The age of the principalities; 3. The formation of the centralized state; 4. The heritage of antiquity; Part II. Rise, evolution, and decline of the first centralized state: 5. The conquering empire; 6. Causes and consequences of the expansion; 7. The rise of the gentry and the crisis in political institutions; 8. The Middle Ages: 9. Barbarians and aristocrats; Medieval civilization; Part IV.

From the Middle Ages to Modern Times: The aristocratic empire; The transition to the Mandarin empire; From the opening-up to the world to the return to the sources of the classical tradition; Part V.

The new world; From the Sinicized Empires to the Mongol Occupation: The sinicized empires; The Reign of the Autocrats and Eunuchs: Reconstruction and expansion; Political, social, and economic changes; The beginnings of modern China and the crisis of the end of the Ming dynasty; Authoritarian Paternalism: The conquest and the foundation of the Manchu regime; The enlightened despots; Intellectual life from the middle of the seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth century; Part IX.

From Decline to Takeover: The great recession; The social explosion and its consequences; The failure of modernization and the advance of foreign intrusion; Intellectual currents in the nineteenth century; Part X. China Crucified: The disintegration of the traditional economy and society; Political developments in the first half of the twentieth century; Philosophical and literary developments; Part XI.

The translation is smooth and stylish. This should be in the reference collection of every serious library.


Jacques Gernet


STK442 130 PDF

A History of Chinese Civilization / Edition 2


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