Reviews 523 J.A.G. Roberts. A History ofChina. Volume 1, Prehistory to c. 1800. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996. xviii, 252 pp. Hardcover $35.00, isbn 0-312-16334-7. Serious general histories of China are still too few in number. Worse, of the ones that are available, nearly all seem dated, many having been published decades ago. For most of them the problem is exacerbated by the great strides made by recent scholarship. J.A.G. Roberts, the author of this first of a projected two-volume history of China, is evidendy aware of the need for an updated general history that incorporates the latest discussions and findings. The autiior's stated aim is to present a clear introduction to the history of China by making use of recent writ- ings and by drawing attention to conflicting interpretations (p. v). Furthermore, he states, it is intended to convey some of the interest and excitement that has been stirred up by the recent réévaluation of Chinese history (p. v). Unfortunately, however, this volume conveys neither. A glance at the endnotes and the bibliography alone leads one to doubt the author's chances for success. The works that are consulted, entirely in English, are mostly monographs, and there
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 30, 1997
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