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Lishixue de kunhuo (review)

Lishixue de kunhuo (review) Special Section Chen Zhiping . Lishixue de kunhuo (Predicaments in historical studies). Beijing: Zhonghua shu ju, 2004. 272 pp. Paperback 23.00 RMB, ISBN 7-810-85620-0. Chen Zhiping, dean of humanities at Xiamen University, is one of the current standard-bearers of the Xiamen school of microhistory, a fact that comes through very clearly in this 2004 book on the study of history in contemporary China. Written for a relatively popular audience, this 140-page volume both justifies the discipline of history and attempts to define it. Chen's book is worth reading not only for his clear-eyed critique of certain recent trends in the history field, but also because it sets forth an ideal history with great clarity that reveals his background assumptions and historical academic context--something that any scholar hoping to interact with the history academe in China should attempt to understand. Throughout the book, one can see Marxist materialism both torn to shreds as an overarching theory and reconfigured as a methodological tool. Chen also presents one of the most unabashed, undiluted, straightforward pleas for objective, scientific history I have seen in a long time. His argument is most effective when discussing methodological issues, as he very carefully considers and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Lishixue de kunhuo (review)

China Review International , Volume 15 (4) – Feb 24, 2008

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
ISSN
1527-9367
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Abstract

Special Section Chen Zhiping . Lishixue de kunhuo (Predicaments in historical studies). Beijing: Zhonghua shu ju, 2004. 272 pp. Paperback 23.00 RMB, ISBN 7-810-85620-0. Chen Zhiping, dean of humanities at Xiamen University, is one of the current standard-bearers of the Xiamen school of microhistory, a fact that comes through very clearly in this 2004 book on the study of history in contemporary China. Written for a relatively popular audience, this 140-page volume both justifies the discipline of history and attempts to define it. Chen's book is worth reading not only for his clear-eyed critique of certain recent trends in the history field, but also because it sets forth an ideal history with great clarity that reveals his background assumptions and historical academic context--something that any scholar hoping to interact with the history academe in China should attempt to understand. Throughout the book, one can see Marxist materialism both torn to shreds as an overarching theory and reconfigured as a methodological tool. Chen also presents one of the most unabashed, undiluted, straightforward pleas for objective, scientific history I have seen in a long time. His argument is most effective when discussing methodological issues, as he very carefully considers and

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Feb 24, 2008

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