As the twenty-first century dawns, China stands at a crossroads. The largest and most populous country on earth and currently the world's second biggest economy, China has recently reclaimed its historic place at the center of global affairs after decades of internal chaos and disastrous foreign relations. But even as China tentatively reengages with the outside world, the contradictions of its development risks pushing it back into an era of insularity and instability—a regression that, as China's recent history shows, would have serious implications for all other nations.
In Restless Empire, award-winning historian Odd Arne Westad traces China's complex foreign affairs over the past 250 years, identifying the forces that will determine the country's path in the decades to come. Since the height of the Qing Empire in the eighteenth century, China's interactions—and confrontations—with foreign powers have caused its worldview to fluctuate wildly between extremes of dominance and subjugation, emulation and defiance. From the invasion of Burma in the 1760s to the Boxer Rebellion in the early 20th century to the 2001 standoff over a downed U.S. spy plane, many of these encounters have left Chinese with a lingering sense of humiliation and resentment, and inflamed their notions of justice, hierarchy, and Chinese centrality in world affairs. Recently, China's rising influence on the world stage has shown what the country stands to gain from international cooperation and openness. But as Westad shows, the nation's success will ultimately hinge on its ability to engage with potential international partners while simultaneously safeguarding its own strength and stability.
An in-depth study by one of our most respected authorities on international relations and contemporary East Asian history, Restless Empire is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the recent past and probable future of this dynamic and complex nation.
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Odd Arne Westad is a professor of international history at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has held visiting fellowships at Cambridge University, Hong Kong University, and New York University. Author or editor of eleven books, including The Global Cold War, which won the Bancroft Prize, the Harrington Award, and the Akira Iriye International History Award, Westad lives in Cambridge, England.
John Pomfret, Washington Post
[A] wonderful book . Westad upends, but ever so politely, a slew of misconceptions about China that have been concocted by his academic predecessors both in the West and in Asia . [He shows] that the foreigners' story in China is not the monochromatic account of malevolent imperialism that has dominated the discourse in U.S. universities but a much richer and more important tale. The brilliance of Restless Empire is that while acknowledging the threat to China inherent in its contacts with the West and Japan, Westad also shows that they inspired and amazed the Chinese and played the critical role in the opening of the Chinese mind.”
Restless Empire is a fascinating book and a pleasure to read. As well as providing a historical framework for understanding the behavior of modern China, it is full of interesting details and insights . Amid the anecdotes and the broad historical narrative, Westad also offers pointed reassessments of particular episodes in Chinese history . Another interesting angle to Restless Empire is its emphasis on the ambiguous impact of China's collision with imperialism . The restless reader may want to know what all this history tells us about the modern day. Westad places current developments in an interesting historical perspective.”
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Descripción The Bodley Head Ltd, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P111847921981