Category Archives: Publications

Great State: China and the World

Cover of the book Great State

In Great State, Timothy Brook does for China what Mary Beard did for Rome in SPQR, analyzes the last eight centuries of China’s relationship with the world in this magnificent history that brings together accounts from civil servants, horse traders, spiritual leaders, explorers, pirates, emperors, migrant workers, invaders, visionaries, and traitors—creating a multifaceted portrait of Read more

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Mr. Selden’s Map of China

mr seldens map of china

A work of history, biography, cartography, and literary mystery, Mr. Selden’s Map of China unlocks the secrets behind a Chinese map four centuries old, long lost in a library basement, and paints an unexpected portrait of the world just as global trade changed everything. The map arrived at Oxford’s Bodleian Library in 1659, part of Read more

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The Troubled Empire

The Mongol Takeover in the 1270’s changed the course of Chinese history. The Confucian empire–a millennium and a half in the making–was suddenly thrust under foreign occupation. What China had been before its reunification as the Yuan dynasty in 1279 was no longer what it would be in the future. Four centuries later, another wave Read more

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Death by a Thousand Cuts

With Jérôme Bourgon and Gregory Blue In a public square in the Beijing in 1904, multiple murderer Wang Weiqin was executed before a crowd of onlookers. He was among the last to suffer the extreme capital punishment known as lingchi. Called by Western observers “death by a thousand cuts” or “death by slicing,” this penalty Read more

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Vermeer’s Hat

vermeers hat

A Vermeer painting shows a military officer in a Dutch sitting room, talking to a laughing girl. In another canvas, fruit spills from a blue-and-white porcelain bowl. Familiar images that captivate us with their beauty–but as Timothy Brook shows us, these intimate pictures actually give us a remarkable view of an expanding world. The officer’s Read more

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Collaboration

Studies of collaboration have changed how the history of World War II in Europe is written, but for China and Japan this aspect of wartime conduct has remained largely unacknowledged. In a bold new work, Timothy Brook breaks the silence surrounding the sensitive topic of wartime collaboration between the Chinese and their Japanese occupiers. Japan’s Read more

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The Chinese State in Ming Society

The Ming dynasty (l368-l644), a period of commercial expansion and cultural innovation, fashioned the relationship between the present-day state and society in China. In this unique collection of reworked and illustrated essays, one of the leading scholars of Chinese history re-examines this relationship and argues that, contrary to previous scholarship, which emphasized the heavy hand Read more

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Opium Regimes

With Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi The history of opium in China, prior to the publication of this volume, was traditionally approached as a deplorable episode in the history of nineteenth-century British imperialism, when British traders exported vast quantities of opium from India to China in order to balance their payments in the China trade. The volume Read more

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Nation Work

The world since the 19th century has been a patchwork of nations constructed around mutually exclusive identities. The model emerged from the European experience of small competing states, but it became global in the 19th century, as old empires and newly formed states in the Third World struggled to assert diplomatic equality and autonomy. This Read more

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China and Historical Capitalism

With Gregory Blue Only recently has it been recognized in the West that the historical experience of the world has been as much the history of China as of the West. The primary subject of this book is the historical relationship that has arisen between the concept of capitalism and the idea of China. The Read more

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