Modern Chinese History

Covering the period from the rise of the Qing Dynasty (1644) to the present post-Olympic era, Modern Chinese History provides the crucial information necessary for understanding the contemporary rise of this world power. -
Year of Publication
Number of Pages
Association for Asian Studies, Inc.
Ann Arbor, MI
ISSN Number
Average: 4.8 (4 votes)


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Modern Chinese History

Field of Interest/Specialty: Social Sciences
Posted On: 10/26/2015

Dr. David Kenley has written a very valuable account of the modern history of China. His understandable text is a great introduction to China's recent history for a new student of Asia. It is also a terrific overview of the country's history for those who wish to further their study of China's history. The book provides a wonderful base of knowledge for those interested in an in-depth study of China. It is a great resource for background information on China written in a clear and concise overview of modern China's formative years. The book could be used for some middle school students but would be and excellent study text for high school and college students. It is a great travel text that explains the historical importance of several locations within China for the traveler in China. I would recommend this book for people who want to learn how China has evolved and emerged as the country it has come to be in the modern world..

Modern Chinese History by David Kenley

Field of Interest/Specialty: early childhood, parenting, ESL
Posted On: 07/06/2015

This is a great introductory review of Chinese history and political developments during and after the Qing dynasty. It provides a framework for understanding current issues in China, with an understanding of earlier causal events. As an American who grew up hearing snippets of news about the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward, this book fleshed out for me the context and precedents of those movements. The time gap between the emperor's abdication and communist government was filled in for me. This could easily be adapted for use in classrooms from middle school to college level in Asia studies, geography or world history. It helped me place events in China along side world events.Travelers planning trips to China would benefit from awareness of China's history as it impacts culture and sites today.

A valuable book for those looking for an updated understanding of China.

Field of Interest/Specialty: Visual Art
Posted On: 07/06/2015

Modern Chinese History, provides the reader with an understanding of Chinese history from the beginning of the Qing Dynasty to present time. Through this historical lens, Kenley invites us to dispense with outdated constructs while allowing a picture of modern China to emerge with greater understanding and clarity. Reading from the perspective of a non-historian, Kenley's book has helped to expand and solidify the base of my understanding of modern China. I would definitely recommend this book to those with a general interest in China as well as those looking for a starting point to begin in-depth study. It's a very readable text that encourages continued study upon completion while serving as a trusted reference to return to.

Foundational Resources for Teachers

Field of Interest/Specialty: China, Japan. Literature, History, Culture.
Posted On: 07/04/2015

Dr. Kenley provides a very concise review of Chinese history from the advent of the Qing through the reform of Deng Xiaoping. This book provides teachers at all levels with important background information upon which they may build meaningful lessons. Approachable and requiring little prior knowledge, the chapters can be used as supplementary readings for students at the high school level. Written as an impartial, informative text, the book provides a very dispassionate overview of Chinese History. While still referencing important primary sources, Dr. Kenley does not get bogged down in comparative historical analysis but rather provides the reader with a clear and succinct overview of modern China's most formative years.