Foundations of Chinese Civilization: The Yellow Emperor to the Han Dynasty (2697 BCE–220 CE)

Jing Liu. Stone Bridge, $14.95 trade paper (168p) ISBN 978-1-61172-027-3
This breezy and generally triumphalist thumbnail guide to everything that’s happened in China up until the third century C.E. promises to explain “5,000 years at a glance.” That means volume two, covering only the next seven centuries, should be able to take a more leisurely pace. This volume is serviceable a short, middle-grade survey course. Liu leaps from the basics of the Chinese dynastic cycle and geography to cataloguing the dense, interlocking layers of Confucian social hierarchies and depicting the many civil wars that have burnt across the countryside for millennia. Liu comes from an academic and business background, which may account for the bullet-point approach to covering one massive upheaval after, another, and his sometimes juvenile drawings don’t mesh well with the epic events at hand. The cheerful characters make an uncomfortable juxtaposition with just-the-facts writing such as “after the deaths of five million people during the violent 16-year transition from the Qin to the Han...” (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/11/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Comics
Ebook - 168 pages - 978-1-61172-918-4
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