edited by Roderick MacFarquhar and John K. Fairbank
Volume 15 of The Cambridge History of China is the second of two volumes dealing with the People's Republic of China since its birth in 1949. The harbingers of the Cultural Revolution were analyzed in Volume 14 and Volume 15 traces a course of events still only partially understood by most Chinese. It begins by analysing the development of Mao's thought since the Communist seizure of power, and, in doing so, attempts to understand why he launched the movement. The contributors grapple with the conflict of evidence between what was said favourably about the Cultural Revolution at the time and the often diametrically opposed retrospective accounts. Volume 15, together with Volume 14, provides the most comprehensive and clearest account of how revolutionary China has developed in response to the upheavals initiated by Mao and Teng Hsiao-p'ing.
This is the first of two volumes in this major Cambridge history dealing with the decline of the Ch'ing empire. It opens with a survey of the Ch'ing empire in China and Inner Asia at its height, in about 1800. Modern China's history begins with the processes recorded here of economic growth, social change and the deterioration of central government within China. Contributors to this volume study the complex interplay of foreign invasion, domestic rebellion and Ch'ing decline and restoration. Special reference is made to the Peking administration, the Canton trade and the early treaty system, the Taiping, Nien and other rebellions, and the dynasty's survival in uneasy cooperation with the British, Russian, French, American and other invaders. Each chapter is written by a specialist from the international community of sinological scholars. Many of the accounts break new ground; all are based on fresh research. This volume has been designed both to be consulted as a work of reference and to be read continuously.
No knowledge of Chinese is necessary; for readers with Chinese, proper names and terms are identified with their characters in the glossary, and full references to Chinese, Japanese and other works are given in the bibliographies. Numerous maps illustrate the text, and there are a bibliographical essays describing the source materials on which each author's account is based.