328 China Review International: Vol. 24, No. 4, 2017 Klaus Mühlhahn. Making China Modern: From the Great Qing to Xi Jinping. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2019. xii, 717 pp. Hardcover $39.95, ISBN 978-0-674-73735-8. Already in its sheer physical dimensions, Klaus Mühlhahn’s new history of modern China is an ambitious undertaking. In over 600 pages of text—not counting the appendices—the author traces the development of the country from the Manchu conquest in 1644 to 2017. Not only the book’s scope, but even more its title is reminiscent of two similarly monumental studies, and a comparison with them elucidates the perspective and characteristics of Mühlhahn’s work: The China that Immanuel Hsu saw on the ascendant in his The Rise of Modern China, ﬁrst published in 1970, was the revolutionary state of Mao Zedong. Jonathan D. Spence’s The Search for Modern China, on the other hand, was written in the period of uncertainty following the Tian’anmen massacre of 1989 and accordingly exudes a great deal of skepticism regarding China’s modern trajectory. By contrast, the China Mühlhahn wishes to explain is the global superpower of today, and he thus provides the ﬁrst truly twenty- ﬁrst-century history of modern
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Dec 12, 2019
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