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As a complete idiot on anything Chinese, which thread should I start with?


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Hi, I'm new here and I'm not sure if it is legal to post this here, but I'm interested learning the entire history of China--possibly from the very beginning. The thing is, I'm not familiar at all with the names of the events that took place in China, so I'm not sure where to begin. If anyone could recommend a good book on the history of China, I would also appreciate the thought.

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What are you interested in? I'm getting my PhD in modern Chinese history. I could recommend some more interesting reading than a textbook-like account... If you're interested in understanding more recent events in history (and some of the most complex I might add) I would recommend Jonathan Spence's Search for Modern China (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Search-Modern-China-Jonathan-Spence/dp/0393973514/sr=1-1/qid=1165738317/ref=sr_1_1/026-9146502-2846021?ie=UTF8&s=books).

Actually, anything by Jonathan Spence is very readable. He writes in a narrative form that is easy to read and enjoyable.


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If anyone could recommend a good book on the history of China, I would also appreciate the thought.

This thread has more details in some of the books mentioned above: http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/95-yi-bai-sui-bless-you81

Spence's book is an excellent read, but it only starts from late Ming/early Qing and ends around 1990. (1644-1990). Probably not a good starting point given Chinese history's 5000 years.

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