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This is China: The First 5,000 Years

by: Haiwang, editor Yuan

Great Barrington MA: Berkshire Publishing Group 2010, $14.95, Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-933782-20-1

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2010 Issue: 17(4) page(s): 24

Read and learn about the world's longest continuous culture in this guide to context and complexities of five thousand years of prehistory, history, and culture. Reading every word provides deep understandings that impact knowledge about a country and culture that is rapidly moving forward.

Every section is titled in English and Chinese, where appropriate there are dates, even a smattering of black and white pictures to set the stage. The chapters are about land and people, pre-history to the end of the Empire, 1912 to more current times, and about the country today.

Migration, foreign relations, religion and items are not covered in the text but they are available with links to the Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, from which this is distilled. That encyclopedia is in five volumes, and may be where some readers need go after filling up on this smattering of super information. The writing is engaging and insightful and loaded with facts and fantasies about the Chinese culture. It acquaints readers with a healthy dose of background as it expands knowledge about this world's most populated country.

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