Friday, January 21, 2011

Five books that explain the myths & facts about China

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom is a Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, and a co-founder of The China Beat blog. His books include Global Shanghai, China's Brave New World, and Twentieth-Century China.

His latest book is China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know.

For The Daily Beast, he came up with five essential books that will explain the myths and facts about China, including:
Warren I. Cohen’s America’s Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations.

A venerable work whose first edition was published right before Nixon met Mao in the early 1970s and whose fifth edition appeared last year, with an update incorporating the first stages of Obama’s presidency. Its author is a leading diplomatic historian.


There’s been remarkable consistency in recent decades in the way that presidents, of both parties, shift from talking tough about China while running for office to working to maintain smooth relations with Beijing once elected. The fact that there is now congressional and popular pressure on the White House to take a harder line on various issues relating to China is nothing new.


The book’s final chapter (newly written for the current edition), “America in the Age of Chinese Power,” has a very clear-eyed discussion of China’s relationship with North Korea.
Read about another book on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Jeffrey Wasserstrom's China's Brave New World.

The Page 99 Test: Jeffrey Wasserstrom's Global Shanghai, 1850–2010.

The Page 99 Test: China in the 21st Century.

--Marshal Zeringue