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Anyone here read 上下五千年?


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The first half or so was a great read, full of mystical 5000 year old emperors, courageous country-loving cultural heroes, and inspiring stories about people who studied hard. Sure, every other chapter would make sure to mention how the 统治阶级 was using its control of the 生产资料 to 剥削 the 劳动人民, but it was still enjoyable. Then those goddamned Europeans showed up (the bad ones, not Marco Polo) and the whole thing started going downhill. A great paragraph from “郑成功收复台湾”:

荷军总督揆一黔驴技穷,他派出使者到郑成功的大营来议和,答应给郑成功大量犒军物资和白银,郑成功严辞拒绝,并郑重重申:台湾自古以来是中国的领土,你们必须无条件归还中国,决不允许再讨价还价。... 至此,被奴役了38年的台湾岛终于回到了祖国的怀抱。

I'm going to keep pressing on, though I have a feeling the writing is going to get more and more ridiculous as the events get closer and closer to the present. I'm especially dreading the Japanese invasion part.

Anyone else read this book? Thoughts? Also does anyone know of an Asian history book written in Chinese thats relatively unbiased and actually based on scientific research as opposed to simply retelling the "traditional history" (not translations)?

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上下五千年 is written for elementary school students. It closely tracks the Party's version of history. School textbooks, I believe, follow the same history. For example, the Party is strongly in support of the Boxer Rebellion and opposed an effort a few years ago to put a more critical history of the Boxer Rebellion in the textbooks. In fact, the editor of a newspaper that published an article critical of textbooks' portrayal of the Boxer Rebellion was sacked.

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  • 2 months later...

I just finished 上下五千年 or rather a short kid version of it. Although I read the main version for the two below:

With regards to Taiwan, you're reading too much into it. This is the events of the 1600's, not the 1900s or even now. It's how most conquerors talk.

I would like to say that what Gato has mentioned may be true, the main article is about what happened with Yuanmingyuan. I wouldn't call it biased since it's a true description of what happened. Yes, there probably should be something more about who started all of it, but we have to make clear the distinction that the rebellion was started by peasants, not the government so why ransack Yuanmingyuan?

At the same time, I'd like to note that 上下五千年 has many versions and not all versions have the same topics for articles let alone the same article. While it may be true for one version, you can find other one.

It's a generic title like History of China can refer to a pleothora of books each written for a different grade level and length.

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