Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Pattern of the Chinese Past” as Want to Read:
The Pattern of the Chinese Past
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Pattern of the Chinese Past

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  25 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
A satisfactory comprehensive history of the social and economic development of pre-modern China, the largest country in the world in terms of population, and with a documentary record covering three millennia, is still far from possible. The present work is only an attempt to disengage the major themes that seem to be of relevance to our understanding of China today. In pa ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published June 1st 1973 by Stanford University Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Pattern of the Chinese Past, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Pattern of the Chinese Past

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 109)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Hadrian
This is an expanded version of Elvin's 1972 paper, "The High-Level Equilibrium Trap", which explains why China never experienced an Industrial Revolution, despite its advances in science and technology, and surpluses in agriculture. In short, it had effectively reached an equilibrium between supply and demand, and had no incentive to improve or change the economy, compared to the labor-intensive and inefficient economy of Western Europe, which had every reason to trend towards scientific experim ...more
Ian
May 27, 2011 Ian rated it it was amazing
Still the best overarching narrative of Chinese history. Elvin takes technology seriously, is perhaps a bit simplistic in his understanding of changing social trends post Song (from the present perspective). The high-level equilibrium trap is still a somewhat persuasive analytical framework.
Linda
Dec 16, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it
I haven't re-read this in many years, but it was certainly a highly influential text when I encountered it in university and helped to shape my understanding of the flow of Chinese history.
Josh Brett
Feb 28, 2013 Josh Brett rated it it was ok
Lots of overly complex graphs and overly simplistic orientalist opinions.
Alex
Aug 22, 2008 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: china, history, economics
Very interesting so far.
Yuyao
Yuyao marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2016
Wenchuan Weng
Wenchuan Weng marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2016
Justin Davis
Justin Davis marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2016
Saif
Saif marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2016
Andrew
Andrew marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2016
Henrik
Henrik marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2016
Graeme
Graeme rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2016
Judy
Judy marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2016
Daniel Shestakov
Daniel Shestakov marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2016
DY
DY added it
May 23, 2016
Ayo
Ayo rated it liked it
May 14, 2016
Brad
Brad marked it as to-read
May 01, 2016
Max
Max marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2016
Ronan Oldroyd
Ronan Oldroyd marked it as to-read
Mar 13, 2016
Maomao Kuo
Maomao Kuo marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2016
Maria Suta
Maria Suta marked it as to-read
May 18, 2016
Colleen Howe
Colleen Howe marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2016
Sophia
Sophia added it
Nov 30, 2015
Steve
Steve marked it as to-read
Jan 11, 2016
Cheng Yimin
Cheng Yimin marked it as to-read
Nov 01, 2015
Xia LI
Xia LI marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2015
Julian Haigh
Julian Haigh marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2015
Conor
Conor marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2015
Ming-sen Wang
Ming-sen Wang rated it it was amazing
Jul 28, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book