Encyclopedia of Modern China (4 volume set)

Encyclopedia of Modern China (4 volume set)

English | 2009 | 2392 Pages | ISBN: 0684315661 | PDF | 101 MB

Covering the period 1800 to the present, this attractive and authoritative set includes 936 entries and sidebars by nearly 500 authors. Contributors are an admirably international group, representing (mostly) universities in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, and elsewhere. A large contingent is based in Hong Kong, while a handful is based in mainland China. Editor Pong states in his introduction that "the importance of the international character of this encyclopedia project cannot be overstressed." Immediately apparent are the hundreds of high-quality photographs, maps, charts, graphs, and other illustrations (a high proportion in color).

Another outstanding feature is the section, in volume 4, of 53 primary source documents ranging chronologically from a letter of advice to Queen Victoria (1839) to "Charter 08" (2008). There are main entries for each province (including a map and a box containing key data), major cities, important people, Chinese relations with countries from Australia to Vietnam, and hundreds of miscellaneous subjects (Adoptions, Beggars, Catholicism, Dance, Long March, Monuments, Political culture since 1900, Teacher education, Weights and measures, etc.). Larger subjects (for example, Architecture, history of; Chinese overseas; Energy; River systems; Social welfare) are subdivided into articles by multiple contributors. Each entry is followed by see also references and a bibliography, mostly of books. An annotated bibliography in volume 4 describes key sources. Each volume contains a full-color physical map in the inside front cover and population density map in the inside back cover. Volume 1 includes Pong's introduction, lists of articles and contributors, a thematic outline, major chronological periods, and a chronology. Volume 4 contains Wade-Giles to Pinyin (and vice versa) conversion tables, a lengthy glossary of Chinese characters (romanized, Chinese character, and English equivalents), and a thorough index. Pong notes that "China is now a factor to be reckoned with in practically every aspect of international life." He adds, "It is our hope that these volumes will provide reliable and sophisticated renditions of the myriad facets of China." Both authoritative and highly accessible, this encyclopedia is strongly recommended for academic, public, and high-school libraries.

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