Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century

Wealth and Power China s Long March to the Twenty first Century From two of today s foremost experts on China a thought provoking new history that helps us understand China s future by looking at its rise over the last years Wealth and Power is a sweeping acc

  • Title: Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century
  • Author: Orville Schell John Delury
  • ISBN: 9780679643470
  • Page: 254
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From two of today s foremost experts on China, a thought provoking new history that helps us understand China s future by looking at its rise over the last 150 years.Wealth and Power is a sweeping account of the key, iconic intellectual figures and political leaders of China since the mid 1800s By examining what they thought and what they did through lively and absorbingFrom two of today s foremost experts on China, a thought provoking new history that helps us understand China s future by looking at its rise over the last 150 years.Wealth and Power is a sweeping account of the key, iconic intellectual figures and political leaders of China since the mid 1800s By examining what they thought and what they did through lively and absorbing portraits, Schell and Delury chart how China made its tortured transformation from a weak, humiliated country under foreign assault to its astonishing rise in the early 21st century In so doing, they provide us with a deeper and richer understanding of China s present success story.

    One thought on “Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century”

    1. I am in the process of immigrating to China as an expat for a 3 to 4 year assignment. I can say that, until now, I have not found any book about China to be very helpful. Most are negative, and view China through a western lens. None helped me to understand the people or culture. This book is different. First, it is readable and interesting. Secondly, I thought it was a very balanced and thought-provoking account of modern China from the Opium wars to the present, seen from the point of view of [...]

    2. This is a good history of China in the modern age told through the lives of its leaders and intellectuals. The aim of these people was to bring China, that traditional, classics bound kingdom, into the modern world, where it would not be so isolated, interact and profit from its neighbors and other countries, and improve the lives of its citizens. There were many ways this problem was thought out, and the authors take you pretty much into the thoughts and writings of the characters, one of whom [...]

    3. Wealth and Power follows Chinese history from the Opium Wars to today. Modern Chinese history is generally considered to have begun with the Treaty of Nanjing at the close of the first Opium War. Schell and Delury see special significance is using that first great humiliation of China at the hands of the modern world as the starting point, central to a thesis they use to explore Chinese history through its intellectual history. Roughly, that thesis is that modern Chinese history is best understo [...]

    4. A thorough and detailed overview of modern Chinese history, starting from the Opium War era to the present day. The authors focus on an influential Chinese figure for each chapter, each representing a different period in Chinese history. Although this approach was clean and gave me a fairly good analysis of what types of sentiments and events were present during the time period, powerful personages were sometimes not given as much attention as I would have liked-- for example, Zhou En-Lai was ha [...]

    5. I've had a keen interest in China for the last several years. As anyone who reads the papers would know, China is gaining more and more media attention. This has also manifested itself in a major inflation of books about China. It has become quite hard to choose the "correct" books to read about China. "Wealth and Power" is by far one of the best books I have read about China's recent history in the past few years."Wealth and Power" examines China's recent history dating from the first Opium War [...]

    6. I would recommend this book to anyone. Of course, it is great for history buffs, but, beyond chronologically-delivered information, it contains political power plays, the stories of individual heroes, the exploration of ideas, differing techniques of governance, tales of economic successes and economic failures, and personal tragedies. Indeed, I think this book can offer an enjoyable and enlightening read to for any person's leisure or study.

    7. Great historical overview, but falls short in conveying how undying, pervasive Confucian values will continue to guide the nation -- democratized or not. (Henry Kissinger's work "On China" highly recommended.)

    8. Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century, by Orville Schell and John Delury is a book about China's progression through the slow decline of the Qing Empire in the late 19th and early 20th century. The book chronicles this progression by examining the efforts of 11 of China's most important thinkers, leaders, politicians and activists. These figures are as follows:1: Wei Yuan: political scholar in the Qing Empire2: Feng Guifen: self-strengthener during the Qing decline3: E [...]

    9. Wealth and Power was an excellent primer on Chinese political thought over the last one hundred and fifty years. From the declining fortunes and humiliation of the Qing Dynasty to the emerging superpower that is today's China, Schell traces through the biographies of key figures their struggle to restore China's wealth and power. The question of relative priorities -- the need for a strong China that is wealthy and cannot be bullied against demands for democracy and human rights is a persistent [...]

    10. “When the country is humiliated, its spirit will be aroused.” Wei Yuan, 1842“From ‘Our technology is not as good as other people’s,’ to ‘Our political system is not as good as other people’s,’ and on to ‘Our culture is not as good as other people’s,’ Chinese reflections on our own defects probed ever deeper. But the primary mind-set that guided the probing was neither ‘liberation of humanity,’ nor even ‘enriching people,’ but rather a sense of shame at China’s l [...]

    11. Great insight into contemporary China! I really liked the structure, dedicating each chapter (sometimes 2) to a key figure in China's policies or thought, and in this way exploring also also key events. This book covers what was going on when the Qing Dinasty crumbled, why Mao happened, why Deng Xiaoping happened, and some other things that have happened ever since, both economically and socially (I think the latest events in the book are from 2007-2010, can't remember). The long, winding road C [...]

    12. In dept analysis on China reformers struggle to make their country achieving the ‘wealth and power’ status. Beautifully written and consistent on the emotion and feeling of ‘humiliation’ by the Chinese that drive their struggle.Now, China is on the verge to become the economic leaders of the world. And nobody is stopping them.

    13. A thoughtful, objective exploration of the leaders of Chinese political life from the 19th to the 21st century.

    14. Extremely readable, written with historical depth yet with the immediacy of a journalist, and one of my favourite types of book, intellectual history written through the lens of key individual biographies. Some of the figures are obvious - Sun Yat Sen, Chiang Kai Shek, Mao, Deng Xiaoping, and these chapters are done well - but the first few and last couple - Wei Yuan, Feng Guifen, Cixi, Liang Qichao, and finishing with Zhu Rongji and Liu Xiaobo - are perhaps less well known and interesting. The [...]

    15. (Full Disclosure: I had the honor of meeting one of the co-authors of this book and getting my copy signed by him. Having said that, the views expressed here are my own and do not reflect that of the author or publisher.)In recent years China has seen explosively economic growth. Even though China's growth is expected to slow down this year, it is still predicted to grow at an estimated 6-7%, a rate that most other countries envy. It has also allowed China to stretch its legs in international po [...]

    16. I've read a number of books related to Chinese history so I appreciated the authors' unique approach, looking at 11 major intellectual and political figures and how each considered China's place in the world and how to improve it. The book's organization provided me with a greater sense of the recurring themes that have arisen over China's tumultuous modern history: the uncertain relationship with democracy; the need to break free from China's tradition-bound culture; and the yearning for a more [...]

    17. Wealth and Power (2013) is an interesting, informative and sympathetic outline of the evolution of China over the last 175 years. It sketches the political lives of a number of Chinese leaders, politicians and influential political theorists. It required several massive and merciless upheavals and bold experimentation for China to overcome many centuries of ingrained feudal culture and lift China out of poverty and a dogged xenophobia to generate the wealth and power required to resist the forei [...]

    18. As a Vietnamese citizens, I am always interested to the history of China, a strong and irritable neighbour, especially how this nation could rise from the poor and backward country to one of the most powerful and influencing power on Earth. The book took an very unorthodox and interesting approach to Chinese history from the beginning of the Opium War to the rise of Xi Jinping in recent years, by focusing on the lives and works of major critical thinkers and political leaders such as Sun-Yatsen, [...]

    19. An overarching theme of this book is China's long struggle to overcome its nearly two centuries of humiliation at the hands of foreign powers. Justifiably proud of an ancient and highly accomplished culture, China has been punished by a succession of invading armies, colonized by imperialist aggressors, exploited by foreign business interests, offended by proselytising missionaries. All of which has been so difficult for China to tolerate that despite their starkly conflicting political approach [...]

    20. Schell traces China's climb from the depths of its "despair" with the invasion of their country by the British in the Opium Wars to contemporary China's achievements in the area of "wealth and power." His focus is on multiple major characters that had a major influence on a period of time and effected change. His premise is that China started from a position of great shame at losing their wealth and power in the 19th century and were tirelessly working to regain their previous position by acknow [...]

    21. This book tells the story of China in the 19th and 20th centuries through an analysis of the political thought of some of the country's most important political thinkers and leaders. It concentrates on the way political thinkers dealt with China's perceived humiliations by foreign powers and their proposals for change. In the case of political leaders, the authors review the changes they brought about, emphasizing the two themes of this volume: overcoming humiliation and escaping the hold that C [...]

    22. Engaging and easy to follow. Enough detail to interest more knowledgeable readers and a compelling overall thesis: that much of Chinese development can be understood in terms of a dialectic conflict between Legalist/Realpolitik and Confucian/Idealist concepts of government. Spoiler: the realists have won for now. I think the chapter on Chiang was problematic. It relied too heavily on Snow's contemporary accounts and didn't really present serious claims by recent scholars like Mitter and Taylor w [...]

    23. Incredibly story of China's modern history. Through the century of humiliation Schell describes China's repeated failures to establish peace, prosperity, and the eponymous wealth and power. Through the lives of a handful of China's greatest influencers, he covers the intellectual roots of change and the failed attempts to revitalize a failing ancient empire.Set against those 100 years of failure, Schell shows how Mao, Deng, and others were able to finally achieve the fantastic dreams of their in [...]

    24. Organized by chapters on successive Chinese rulers and significant political figures, this book is one of the reasons I still buy some books in paper rather than digital versions. I want it sitting on my bookshelf the next time I feel the need to review, say, Deng Xiaoping's lasting influence on China. However, as more than 300,000 democracy demonstrators are in the streets of Hong Kong and Xi Jinping continues assertive Chinese foreign policy, it is helpful to be able to view those events in hi [...]

    25. This was an excellent overview of the people and events that have played a part in the last three centuries of China's history, and for that, I'm very glad I read it. I certainly have a much better understanding of the context behind China's current and past actions on the world stage and internally. However, the authors beat the "wealth and power" statement to death. There were times the phrase would come up three or four times in a couple pages. The thesis was clear throughout the book without [...]

    26. I really enjoyed reading about the eleven different people featured in this book. It was interesting to see how their ideas changed in their own lifetimes, and also to see how people's ideas changed from the middle of the 19th century until nowadays. I also enjoyed reading all of the notes at the back of the book because they gave me ideas for future books to read, especially the one about Sir Edmund Backhouse and his thoughts about China while he was living there AND the one about the Empress D [...]

    27. Intriguing read on why Chinese leaders decide which way to turn in the current geo-political context. With "wealth and power" as the goal to strengthen the state and it's society, the virtues take a back seat to the Legalist's pragmatism. Just get there and we'll be strong again, and no will ever humiliate us again. This is their sin, and history will no doubt repeat itself with as shallow and backward a goal as this. True maturity in civilization advancement comes through the cooperation and im [...]

    28. Excellent review of China's history from the time of the first Opium war, the 1830s, to the present day. The book is told by profiling about a dozen leading thinkers, activists and politicians, and is written by two academics who are clearly masters of the subject matter. The rise of China since 1978 seems (even more) astonishing after reading this account of, generally, directionless and ineffective leadership for most of the 140 years prior to turning the corner following the death of Deng Xia [...]

    29. Awesome book! Truly changed my perspective of China and its modern history. From the Opium Wars and the century of humiliation, through to the end of the Qing, and leading up to Mao and his destruction which led to China being able to develop the wealth and power that it has longed for for so long. FASCINATING!Very interesting that it chose to go through history through the narratives of specific people rather than event by event, so the overlap of the history makes a great part of the book.

    30. Just remarkable. The best book I've read on Chinese history and politics so far. Most informative are the short biographies of the individuals who were influential in the transition, from the eighteenth century to the present. I only wish "Strength" is used instead "Power" in the title, (the other translation of the Chinese word) because I think it offers a better destination for the country. BTW, you might find the Orville Schell discussion of the book at the USC U.S.-China Institute interestin [...]

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