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China: Its History and Culture

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  162 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
A concise, illustrated survey of Chinese religion, philosophy, art, dynastic courts, militarism, and agriculture from ancient times to the present also considers those aspects of Chinese culture transformed by the Revolution of 1949.
Paperback, 324 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published January 1st 1980)
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Diana Marie
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a brief and wonderfully thorough book on the history of China. It is very organized, providing a logical structure and timeline to the history - and how it inspired Chinese cultural traditions. Not all history books are as clear and engaging to read as this book, while still maintaining depth.
This is a solid one volume survey of Chinese history and the development of its culture. If that is what you are looking for, then you probably will not be disappointed. In 300 pages Morton and Lewis cover the major events, epochs, and upheavals that have taken place in the over 2000 years of one of the world's oldest and biggest cultures. What most surprised me was how bloody and colorful so much of it was. For a reader who learned only American history in his youth, and then some European hist ...more
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
The Chinese history is a challenge and a bewildering labyrinth. The reason is probably the huge size of China in people and land as well as the 4000 years of its history. I didn’t bother with committing any of the names into memory. It’s far more complex than any history I read. The last 100 pages are from the formation of communist party in the 1920 to 1985. I didn’t expect so much warfare and misery of the common people. No wonder it was a fruitful field for the communists. Russia was also ser ...more
Trying to understand modern China? China: It's History and Culture by W. Scott Morton covers 6,000 years of Chinese history in under 300 pages with a focus on emergent themes that impact China today.

Covering geography, philosophy, art, government, and culture this broad sweep approach flies over China's ancient history, flying lower and giving more detail as it approaches present times.

Although it is concise, I found myself stopping to get more information about certain people or events, which
This is easily the best book I've come across on Chinese history and culture, and probably the best book I've found on any history or culture.

In about 300 pages, there is a vast amount of dense information here, which is why it took me so long to make it through (one year now). That being said, Morton writes in an easy, straightforward prose, using colorful, but not difficult, language. He has a real talent for finding just the right word or just the right metaphor to get the point across. He d
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
For a mere 285 pages, this history of Chinese development and culture is impressive. It begins briefly with the origination of man in this Eastern part of the world and progresses through each phase, dynasty, and later Communist leader. Focusing on the moments that informed later events, the authors help give a better understanding of the Chinese people and their religious, political, and social practices. I definitely have a better grasp on why the Chinese are so drastically different from the ...more
周婉蓮 차우 크리스티나 Cass
(As posted on my blog, Pneumatised!)

I finally got around to finish reading China: Its History and Culture by W. Scott Morton and Charlton M. Lewis. It's a good overview of the history of China. I picked up this book for two reasons. One was for the overview of key events in China's history. The second reason was because I wanted to know how the history affected Chinese culture. For each era (or dynasty, in most of the cases), this book does a good job of presenting key historic events and discus
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is a well written and easily read survey of Chinese history. I learned quite a bit about culture and history from this book, and this will certainly serve as a jumping-off point for other, like-minded subjects. My one criticism is that there were not enough maps to make sense of the geography, which is diverse and important to China's history.

As an introductory text, this is one of the better ones I have read. For those who have some extensive background, this book may not add much, but for
Aug 18, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is frustrating in that the entire thrust of Chinese history prior to 1800 is glossed over. This first half of the book is like an overview of an overview, where hundreds of years pass in mere paragraphs and as much energy is spent on contrasting art styles as on the main events of each period. The second half of the book covering the modern period is exactly what I was looking for from the rest of the book, and is worth reading.

Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For only being 300 Pages, this book covers a lot of ground and does it well. A nice launching off point to deeper study. I think the focus on culture at times was very useful. This book probably presents the best explanation on the 3 big Chinese religious traditions and how that translates to modern times. This is still a history book, so slow reading at times.
Frank Cardenas
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interestting journey through the enigmatic China that anybody thinking of visiting or working there should make. It will help you understand more about their people, history and culture so that you find a more credible argument than that of TIC: This Is China! Sorry, but I gather that those who have lived there would actually understand me.
Dec 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was helpful, if a little dull in giving me a good overview of Chinese history. It was by a Christian missionary, but he's quite objective in the best sense of the term.
Rob Roy
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 60-hist-other
Great survey of Chinese history
Nadia Kim
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book was great for my research as I was writing for a new series.
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China: Its History and Culture by Scott W. Morton (1995)
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