Thursday, August 12, 2010

Books on China's History, Culture, Art and Society

Here is a list of recent additions to our collection of books on China, covering areas such as China's history, culture, politics, economics, society, art and more:
  • The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers by Richard Mcgregor. Based on the author's life and work in China which includes 2000-2008 as Beijing bureau chief of the Financial Times, this discussion of China's power structure offers informed insights into the contemporary functioning of the Communist Party's leadership and structure. The nature of the Party's grip, its secrecy, business involvements, commercial moguls, its policies on corruption, the media and free markets, its tolerance, and intolerance in selected local and international issues, and approach to economic changes are all addressed with respect as well as clear-sighted criticism. With photographs, references and index.
  • The Undaunted Women of Nanking: The Wartime Diaries of Minnie Vautrin and Tsen Shui-Fang by Hua-Ling Hu and Zhang Lian-Hong. During the infamous "Rape of Nanking," a brutal military occupation of Nanking, China, that began in December 1937, it is estimated that Japanese soldiers killed between 200,000 and 300,000 Chinese and raped between 20,000 and 80,000 women. In response to the atrocities, a group of westerners organised the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone and attempted to shelter refugees. Among these humanitarian heroes was Minnie Vautrin, an American missionary and acting president of Ginling College. She and Tsen Shui-fang, her Chinese assistant turned the college into a refugee camp. Even though both women were exhausted mentally and physically from caring for so many, they kept detailed diaries during the massacre. The Undaunted Women of Nanking juxtaposes the two women's wartime diaries day-by-day from December 8, 1937, through March 1, 1938. Both diaries provide vital eyewitness accounts of the Rape of Nanking and are unique in their focus on the Ginling refugee camp and the sufferings of women and children. Tsen Shui-fang's diary is the only known daily account by a Chinese national written during the crisis and not retrospectively. It has never before been published in English, and this is its first translation. Editors Hua-ling Hu and Zhang Lian-hong have added many informative annotations to the diary entries from sources including the proceedings of the Tokyo War Crimes Trial of 1946, Vautrin's correspondence, John Rabe's diary, and other historical documents. Also included are biographical sketches of the two women, a note on the diaries, and information about the aftermath of the tragedy, as well as maps and photos - some of which appear in print here for the first time.
  • Interpreting China's Economy by Gregory C. Chow. This book is unique in covering all important topics of the Chinese economy in depth but written in a language understandable to the layman and yet challenging to the expert. Beginning with entrepreneurship that propels the dynamic economic changes in China today, the book is organised into four broad parts to discuss China's economic development, to analyse significant economic issues, to recommend economic policies and to comment on the timely economic issues in the American economy for comparison. Unlike a textbook, the discussion is original and thought provoking. It is written by a most distinguished economist who has studied the Chinese economy for 30 years, after making breathtaking contributions to the fields of econometrics, applied economics and dynamic economics and serving as a major adviser to the government of Taiwan during its period of rapid development in the 1960s and 1970s. In the last 30 years, the author has served as a major adviser to the government of China on economic reform and important economic policies and cooperated with the Ministry of Education to introduce and promote the development of modern economics in China, including training hundreds of economists in China and placing many graduate students to pursue a doctoral degrees in economics in leading universities in the US and Canada. These graduates now play pivotal roles in China and in the US in academics, business or government institutions.
  • Social Cohesion in Greater China: Challenges for Social Policy and Governance edited by Ka Ho Mok and Yeun-Wen Ku. This book critically examines the issues and challenges of social development faced by societies in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, with particular reference to the major strategies these societies adopt to promote social cohesion and civil harmony in the context of globalisation. It focuses on people who have been socially marginalised by the Asian financial crisis in 1997, and examines the measures Greater China has adopted to balance economic growth with social development. The book will be of interest to readers who wish to know more about societies in Mainland China, and the effects of globalisation.
  • Art of the Natural World: Resonances of Wild Nature in Chinese Sculptural Art by Richard Rosenblum and Valerie C. Doran. Prized for over a millennium by Chinese literati, scholars' rocks - stones sculpted by the elements into evocative, richly textured miniature landscapes - have been objects of contemplation and inspiration. This elegantly designed volume offers a meditation by the noted artist and collector Richard Rosenblum on the philosophy and spirit of Chinese natural art, from scholars' rocks to objects in wood, metal, and ceramic - as well as works sculpted to replicate natural art. Rosenblum also engages the wider philosophical issues these works raise - about artistic perception, the context of an art object, and what ultimately constitutes a work of art. Centuries before Duchamp's snow shovel first appeared in a gallery, Chinese natural art was challenging received notions about artistic creation and response. A book for scholars, artists, and thinkers alike, Art of the Natural World is an indispensable commentary on the art of nature and the nature of art.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I'm doing a book giveaway on my blog and thought you might be interested!

    Great Blog!