The hugely enlarged third edition won the Stanislas Julien Prize for In the fourth edition the entire work has been corrected and updated and many sections rewritten. Fifteen years in the making, Chinese History introduces students to different types of transmitted, excavated, and artifactual sources from prehistory to the twenty-first century. It also examines the context in which the sources were produced, preserved, and received, the problems of research and interpretation associated with them, and the best, most up-to-date secondary works.
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The New Manual lists and describes published, excavated, artifactual, and archival sources from pre-history to the twenty-first century, as well as selected up-to-date scholarship in Chinese, Japanese, and Western languages. Detailed annotations evaluate reference and research tools and outline the 25 ancillary disciplines required for the study of Chinese history. Introductions to each of the 76 chapters and interspersed short essays give encyclopedic and often witty summaries of major topics for specialists and general readers, as well as directives on the uses of history and avoidance of error in thought and analysis.
Since its first appearance in a preliminary version in , Wilkinson's manual has been continuously in print selling on average copies a year. During this time it has grown from 70, words to its current size of 1, pages and over 1. The author has kept it up to date by issuing numerous revised editions, each enlarging its scope.
In an interview with Carla Nappi, an historian of China at the University of British Columbia , Wilkinson discussed his experience in the field and the book's background. He became interested in China as an undergraduate at Cambridge University in the early s, then spent two years teaching English in Beijing up to the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution. He earned a PhD from Princeton University with a dissertation on late Qing dynasty markets and prices, but when he began teaching he still felt unprepared.
He did not know, he recalled, what to tell his graduate students about the Zhou or Shang dynasties, about which he felt his knowledge would hardly "fill an eye bath. Fairbank offered to publish them, and the Research Guide appeared in due course. Wilkinson served in Beijing as the European Union Ambassador to China from to , and in his spare moments turned the Research Guide into the first and second editions of the manual.
After he retired from the EU in , Harvard invited him to teach Chinese history, including a graduate seminar on sinological methods. From then on he worked on the New Manual , commuting between Harvard and Peking University where he was a visiting professor. In this way he was able to make full use of the Harvard-Yenching Library as well as all the scholarly resources that Beijing has to offer.
The fourth edition was also published in Chinese and sold 11, copies in the first year Starting with the Fifth edition , Wilkinson decided as an experiment in lowering the sales price of the English edition to publish it himself and distribute it exclusively on Amazon.
The fifth edition was also published digitally on the Pleco platform , in November The author explains in the Preface the principal aims of the Fifth edition as being to introduce:. The different types of transmitted, excavated, archival, artifactual, and ecofactual primary sources from prehistory to and in some cases to the present. Accordingly, it examines the context in which these sources were produced, preserved, and received, as well as the problems of research and interpretation associated with them;.
The ancillary disciplines required for the study of Chinese history from prehistory to and in many cases up to the present , including archeology, astronomy, bibliography, chronology and calendrics, codicology , diplomatics, epigraphy , genealogy, historical geography, historical linguistics, numismatics, onomastics , paleography, prosopography , sigillography , statistics, textual criticism, topography, transcription, translation strategies, and special branches of study such as oracle-bone script, bamboo and silk books, Dunhuang , Qingshuijiang, and Huizhou documents or the Ming-Qing archives;.
The key secondary sources on questions of current focus and controversy in Chinese historical studies;. In addition to the four principal aims, the Fifth edition also has five subsidiary objectives 5—9 , the ninth of which has not featured in previously editions:.
To provide a sense of change over time and therefore to avoid anachronistic, ahistorical interpretations of China's past. This is easily done because the scope of the New Manual is the whole sweep of Chinese recorded history, in the course of which long-term changes are readily apparent. To supply readers who are familiar with one period a springboard into others with which they are less familiar. To profile the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese historiographical traditions because i of the central role that the writing of history played and continues to play in Chinese politics and culture and ii to a greater extent than is commonly realized, historians rely on works produced in the old historiographical traditions, even though they may ask different questions and use different conceptual frameworks.
To illustrate the instinct of Chinese publishers to censor anything they think might contradict the official Party line on Chinese history. This is achieved by underlining in green some 30 or so examples of censorship in the Chinese translation of the manual published in For example, in a discussion of political slogans Wilkinson mentions that during a meeting with Li Xiannian in , the Vice Premier underlined the importance of the Four Modernizations but was unable to recall more than the first three page The paragraphs recounting this episode have been erased.
Equally unacceptable to the censor were comparisons of CCP-era practices with rituals and procedures characteristic of imperial China. The paragraph was scrubbed page ; 2 anything touching border issues even if this meant deleting a passage from a historical source that contradicts the current CCP line while retaining a passage from the same source that supports it page Even the author's correct observation that the History of the Ming , the official history of the dynasty, places Taiwan in the section reserved for foreign countries was deleted page ; 3 anything showing Chinese people making fun of propaganda slogans page ; 4 any statistical estimate that differs from official statistics on sensitive issues was simply suppressed.
For example, the number of people who died of starvation during the Great Chinese Famine page The Fifth edition updates, expands, and corrects the fourth edition Some 12, primary and secondary sources, reference works, journals, book chapters, journal articles, and databases are introduced in the course of the discussion compared to 9, in the fourth edition; 8, in the third edition; 4, in the second edition ; and 2, in the first edition Of the 12, resources roughly one-third are primary sources almost all Chinese and two-thirds secondary sources mainly monographs in Chinese and English, about equally divided between the two, and over works in Japanese and other languages.
Roughly 1, scholarly articles and book chapters are cited mostly in English but also in Chinese, Japanese and other languages. A few hundred book reviews that make a substantial contribution are noted. Even while updating the content and presentation of the Fifth edition Wilkinson thought it wise to facilitate navigation for readers of previous editions by maintaining the basic structure of the manual which as before comprises 14 book-length parts subdivided into a total of 76 chapters.
In other words, it is a case of new wine in old bottles. Books 10—12 present pre-history and the sources chronologically by dynasty or group of dynasties sources for the first half of the twentieth century are in book Book 14 is on the history of the book in China and historical bibliography.
The main text of the manual is interspersed with boxes each providing further details on specific topics and tables mainly consisting of lists or statistical data. Boxed topics range from guanhua jokes to the influence of images of the Buddha on the depiction of Confucius; from the board game Struggling to advance in officialdom to the speed of Chinese armies and fleets; from the connections between height and power to marching in step; from tomes in tombs to tomb robbers; from why women would have spoken with much thicker dialect accents than their brothers, to an analysis of duplicate biographies in the Histories.
One series of boxes takes on the origins, history, and nature of Chinese characters. Another series gives a rundown on social history, such as coming of age and age at death.
The tables include obvious data such as the dynasties of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam or the contents of major sources or reference works but also less obvious subjects from statistical analyses of the gender breakdown in the first four Histories or the amount of repetition in the Siku Quanshu to tables of extremely large and extremely small numbers; from ancient zodiacs to phases of the moon; from nautical units of measure to details of promulgated and actual weights and measures in different periods; from changes in book classification schemes Han dynasty to the present to changes in personal naming systems from the Zhou dynasty to the present; from the lexical influence of textiles to the size of steppe armies.
Overall the changes to the Fifth edition were so extensive amounting to pages of new material that the manual had to be redesigned. The decision was made easier because one of the criticisms especially from older readers was that the light-weight typefaces used in previous English editions were difficult to read. Accordingly, three changes were made to the design of the Fifth edition: 1 light-weight fonts have been replaced with regular-weight fonts; 2 the main text is distinguished from bibliographic entries by using a serif font for the former and a non-serif for the latter; and 3 highlighting has been introduced: for example, boxes, are shaded in legal-pad yellow; tables in pale blue; and examples of passages censored in the Chinese translation of the manual are underlined in green.
A monumental achievement! Fourth edition: "For any student of China and at every level , Chinese History: A New Manual is not only a masterful scholarly endeavor, it is also happily a real page turner indeed, with captivating insights on every page.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In all people and two institutions have received the prize since it was inaugurated in Categories : Sinology Bibliographies of history History books about China non-fiction books Published bibliographies Harvard University Press books. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Contribute Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file.
ISBN 13: 9780998888309
The New Manual lists and describes published, excavated, artifactual, and archival sources from pre-history to the twenty-first century, as well as selected up-to-date scholarship in Chinese, Japanese, and Western languages. Detailed annotations evaluate reference and research tools and outline the 25 ancillary disciplines required for the study of Chinese history. Introductions to each of the 76 chapters and interspersed short essays give encyclopedic and often witty summaries of major topics for specialists and general readers, as well as directives on the uses of history and avoidance of error in thought and analysis. Since its first appearance in a preliminary version in , Wilkinson's manual has been continuously in print selling on average copies a year.
Chinese History: A New Manual
Endymion Wilkinson's bestselling manual of Chinese history has long been an indispensable guide to all those interested in the civilization and history of China. The New Manual introduces students to different types of transmitted, excavated, and artifactual sources from prehistory to the twenty-first century. It also examines the context in which the sources were produced, preserved, and received, the problems of research and interpretation associated with them, and the best, most up-to-date secondary works and digital resources. During postings in Tokyo, Brussels, Bangkok, and Beijing he continued to research and publish on Chinese history and on Japan. After serving as EU Ambassador to China and Mongolia he returned to academe to write Chinese history: A new manual, the third edition of which was awarded the Stanislas Julien Prize for Updated throughout with more than pages of new material and reset in easily readable fonts, the Fifth Edition of Wilkinson's Manual is the indispensable guide for Sinologists of all stripes. A monumental achievement!
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