In this masterful, highly original approach to modern Chinese history, Jonathan D. Spence shows us the Chinese revolution through the eyes of its most articulate participants—the writers, historians, philosophers, and insurrectionists who shaped and were shaped by the turbulent events of the twentieth century. By skillfully combining literary materials with more conventional sources of political and social history, Spence provides an unparalleled look at China and her people and offers valuable insight into the continuing conflict between the implacable power of the state and the strivings of China’s artists, writers, and thinkers.
“Absolutely first rate; it is adventurous in form, scrupulous in content, passionate in its revelation of complex human drama.”
“[Jonathan Spence] has woven a magical symphony that tells us as no conventional history could of the agony of a nation in awesome labor.”
—Harrison E. Salisbury, Chicago Tribune Book World
“With a novelist’s flair for life and a historian’s grounding in fact . . . there is no other work to match this in sweep, vivacity, and humanity.”
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