This scholarly encyclopedia explores the development of modern China from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present. The 936 essays and sidebars describe the principal cultural, geographic and political features of world’s most populous nation. Over 500 scholars participated in the production of this comprehensive encyclopedia. The entries range from surveys of important movements, events and people to broad investigations of art, literature, international relations, political divisions and education.
These substantial essays build on each other. Thus, examinations of the economy include economic reforms since 1978, rural development, domestic and foreign trade, agricultural production, energy, smuggling, and urban employment, as well as traditional and modern industries. Investigations of Chinese society range from family, life cycles, and the status of women to privacy, morality and household registration. Each entry contains recommendations for further research, and hundreds of full–color maps and illustrations support the text. A substantial selection of 53 primary documents illustrates changes in the intellectual attitudes affecting Chinese government from the Treaty of Nanking to the Charter 2008 manifesto calling for a more democratic China. Other supplemental materials include lists of treaties, an annotated general bibliography, and a glossary of Chinese characters. The recent Berkshire Encyclopedia of China (Berkshire, 2009) took as its scope all of Chinese history. In comparison, the Encyclopedia of Modern China provides greater depth on the past two centuries as well as the current directions that China is taking as a nation and a people. From the Opium War to Tiananmen Square, this outstanding tool should be the first stop to begin academic research. It is also highly recommended for those high school and public libraries that can afford it.