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Ancient Chinese History and Modernity Essay


Chinese history has excited society for 5000 years as one of the longest and mysterious state chronicles that reflects the brilliance of Chinese culture and ethics. There is a number of works, the authors of which praise the beauty and uniqueness of the Chinese cultural traditions. However, there are the controversies and disputes about the events of those times remain unsolved (Galtung and Stenslie 86). Chinese history is a heterogeneous phenomenon that requires profound research.

“China in Ten Words” by Yu Hua, is a book representing China in all its diversity. The author of this book tells about his country with love and sympathy. The book is built on the controversies. It also contributes to the demonstration of the contradictions connected with the development of China (36). Monumental China with colossal history and then leap forward to a bright future, petty China with blood foremen profiting from the donation of the peasants, wayward China with squads of brave revolutionaries and totalitarians that deprived the peasants of their land – all these aspects of Chinese history are reflected in the book.

China is not uniform, and its population is not uniform also (Kinkley 96). Pleasant memories of childhood with pure dreams are changing with the scenes of public execution. How does this country combine the beliefs in the ideas of revolution and the notorious forgery of well-known brands (Hauss 270)? How law-abiding Chinese coexist with corruption and bribery (Chu 112)? The author of this book touches upon all these fundamental issues in a humorous, light manner.

“The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future” by the investigator of Chinese nationalism, Prasenjit Duara, is one more ontology of Chinese life. This reading presents an overview of the many-sided Chinese history.

The narration of the author is more formal and theoretically grounded than that one used by Yu Hua. Duara claims that the modern world is in need of urgent changes. These changes should appeal to environmental, political, and cultural issues. He uses the notion of transcendence as the conception of principles related to politics and religion. He determines the salvation of global resources as a primary goal of modern humanity. Duara supposes that Asian traditions are of vital importance for the solution of global problems of humanity (48).

These two readings provide the vision of the hidden dangers which were chasing people at all times at all historical stages of global development. One more connection between these books is in the perception of the Asian (Chinese) culture as an invaluable heritage for the modern generation.

Works Cited

Chu, Ben. Chinese Whispers: Why Everything You Have Heard about China is Wrong, London, UK: Hachette UK, 2013. Print.

Duara, Prasenjit. The Crisis of Global Modernity, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Print.

Galtung, Marte Kjær, and Stig Stenslie. 49 Myths about China, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014. Print.

Hauss, Charles. Comparative Politics, Boston: Wadsworth, 2011. Print.

Hua, Yu. China in Ten Words, London, UK: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, 2013. Print.

Kinkley, Jeffrey C. Visions of Dystopia in China’s New Historical Novels, New York: Columbia University Press, 2013. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Ancient Chinese History and Modernity." November 24, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ancient-chinese-history-and-modernity/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Ancient Chinese History and Modernity'. 24 November.

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