Wednesday, 11 July 2007

"A History of China" by J.A.G. Roberts

A new "book of the week" after 3 months. No paid reviews done on this site (or at least none have ever been offered).

As a partial break from economics I am currently half way through:

A History of China (Palgrave Essential Histories) by J.A.G. Roberts.

Whilst only around 350 pages long it still manages to capture all the important stages of Chinese history in appropriate detail. The beauty of this book is that it is academic in nature and yet highly readable. It could even be considered a page turner. The extensive but unobtrusive use of endnotes is great for the academically minded.

I am just entering the Ming dynasty on page 112 after the fall of the Mongol empire and the Yuan dynasty.

For (sad) economists there is plenty in there - it is perhaps not surprising to learn that in many cases the fall of a dynasty was preceded by economic disaster. Land reform, military expenditure, trade, monopoly rents and taxation are common themes. Now I bet you can't wait to read it....

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