by Robert André LaFleur


China is a country on the rise, with a rapidly growing economy and a student population of 320 million—a number larger than the entire population of the United States. As the nation's economic strength, geopolitical importance, and cultural influence continue to grow, students and scholars—as well as business people, travelers, and others—are more interested than ever in investigating China's history, society, and way of life.

Print Flyer
Cover image for China

November 2009


Pages 504
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Countries and Regions

An up-to-date, concise examination of China—past and present—providing detailed information on a country whose substantial impact on the global economy and consumer culture continues to grow.

Part of ABC-CLIO's Asia in Focus series, this authoritative resource is designed to help a wide variety of readers understand the complexities of the world's most populous country—a nation of ancient glory and rising importance, yet one that remains elusive and not generally well known.

Packed with recent scholarship and fascinating details, this concise, multifaceted volume offers an updated look at China's geography and history, from the political and technological dominance of the imperial period to the communist revolution and the present state. The work also vividly captures the "living" China of today—its economy, politics, and culture—with extensive coverage of topics ranging from education, languages, arts, and cuisine to industrialization, gender issues, population control efforts, and human rights controversies that have impacted the country's relationship to the global community.


  • Contributions from an accomplished team of scholars and experts on Chinese history, economics, art, music, literature, politics, and other topics—organized to facilitate clear and focused conveyance of information
  • More than 50 sidebars focusing on key people, places, and events, plus a variety of maps created to help readers better understand the nation's history, geography, language distribution, and other important facets


  • Incorporates the latest information and insights into a nation that is assuming an increasingly influential role in global political and economic affairs
  • Offers quick access to a wealth of information about a country that will likely become a more significant part of school curricula in coming years
  • Provides coverage not limited by a Western perspective to more fully present China's robust cultural, historical, and societal heritage to interested readers
Author Info

Robert André LaFleur is professor of history and anthropology and chair of the Asian Studies program at Beloit College, Beloit, WI. His research focuses on Chinese cultural history, and he teaches a wide array of courses on East Asian culture, anthropological theory, and intellectual history.



"For general readers and high school students, LaFleur (history and anthropology and Asian studies, Beloit College) introduces China's history and culture, from the political and technological dominance of the imperial period to the present day. A group of American specialists in Chinese history, economics, cultural anthropology, political science, languages and literatures, and music cover the country's economy, society, geography, religion, politics and government, social classes, culture, education, literature, arts, etiquette, leisure activities, popular culture, languages, cuisine, industrialization, gender issues, population control efforts, human rights controversies, contemporary issues like pollution and the adoption industry, and key people, places, and events."Reference & Research Book News

"Highly recommended for all high school, public, business, and academic libraries. . . also appropriate for circulating collections."Library Journal

"From its political dominance to its economy, this offers detailed coverage of the country and its controversies and impacts on the world, and is a 'must' for any seeking an in-depth survey of the nation, from its resources to its peoples."Midwest Book Review

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