The Land and People of China

John S. Major, Author Lippincott Williams & Wilkins $19 (298p) ISBN 978-0-397-32336-4
Readers who pass through the pages of this book will come away with a thorough understanding of Chinese society, past and present, for Major glosses over no aspect of his subject. ``China is as much an idea as it is a place,'' he states early on; in his provocative discussion of the facets that comprise Chinese self-identity, readers will be forced to think about the ways in which people of all countries decide who they are and what is important to them. He defines the topology and geography of the land of China, followed by information on ancient culture, the dynasties of the Imperial period, the structure of traditional society, the role of government, China's contributions in science and technology as well as the arts, modern times and daily life. Charts and illustrations break up the nearly 300 pages of text. That this study is comprehensive and fascinating is not in question, but this book is for thoughtful readers, willing to give themselves over entirely to the well-ordered facts. A stellar presentation, not for light reading, but Major's clear style makes it easy for a special few to savor every word. Similar books in the series are on Kenya, France and Afghanistan. Illustrations not seen by PW . Ages 11-up. ( May )
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Hardcover - 298 pages - 978-0-397-32337-1
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