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A Bitter Revolution: China's Struggle with the Modern World

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  122 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In this powerful new look at modern China, Rana Mitter goes back to a pivotal moment in Chinese history to uncover the origins of the painful transition from pre-modern to modern. Mitter identifies May 4, 1919, as the defining moment of China's twentieth-century history. On that day, outrage over the Paris peace conference triggered a vast student protest that led in turn ...more
Paperback, 357 pages
Published August 25th 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2004)
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Apr 25, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who dont study china for a living
this is a very well written book with an incredibly broad scope, and at heart that is the problem. it reaches too far, and never really makes an argument. on the other hand, its so well written that if you want a book about modern chinese history but dont want to be bored, this would do just fine.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
In A Bitter Revolution, Rana Mitter looks into China’s past to explain how modern China developed. He chooses as his focus the May Fourth Movement of 1919, which he feels was a pinnacle moment during which Chinese students and intellectuals eager to modernize China looked outward to the West and beyond to applaud democracy and science while rejecting their own cultural past. Mitter’s argument is that the “ghost” of the May Fourth Movement lingered as an undertone to China’s bumpy road to moderni ...more
Survey of Chinese intellectual/social development in the 20th century. Tries to cover so much, and thus covers too little.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent summary as far as I can tell.

I found the section on the Cultural Revolution disturbingly useful in looking at what is taking place in Trump's America.

China survived its madness. I hope we survive America's
Jessica Zu
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I can partially use this for teaching
A good read about the various revolutions and turmoil that China has had the last 150 years or so within itself and with outside forces involved i.e. - foreigners who just like any invader imposed their military and will against a country that was very, very poor and dysfunctional at best. Maybe, now, because they (China) has learned from it's past history that they will and won't be compromised and conquered by the E.U. and certainly not by the U.S. of A. Sometimes it is nice to stand on one ow ...more
"A Bitter Revolution" was a very nice analysis of how China's May 4th Movement in 1919 influenced all of the 20th century, and is continuing to influence China today. I only wish his book had an audio version, so I wouldn't have had to listen to it using the computer voice of Kindle. To all writers out there: Get your books on audio, please!

二零一六年: 第四十二本书
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very well written book. It gives you a good overview of China from, however it keeps returning to the same point (May the 4th). I can understand that it can be too much for some people, but I still enjoyed it. It is quite a light read, packed with hard facts. From a perspective of a person that doesn't know much about china, I both got a working knowledge and enjoyment out of this book.
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Undoubtedly the greatest bok to read in order to prepare oneself for May 4 the meantime no other historian has produced anything like Mitter's great interpretation of teh place of the May 4th movement and of its significance for Modern China down to this day.
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
a great overview of 20th century Chinese history with the demonstrations of 4 may 1919 at the heart of it.
Central Library,
Jun 11, 2016 is currently reading it
Shelves: june
Please find the new arrival books in here.
Jun 06, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: history, china
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RANA MITTER is a professor of modern Chinese history at the University of Oxford and the author of several books including A Bitter Revolution. He is a regular contributor to British television and radio. His writing has appeared in the Financial Times, the Guardian, and elsewhere.
More about Rana Mitter

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