The Confusions of Pleasure
Commerce and Culture in Ming China
By (author) Timothy Brook
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Confusions of Pleasure by Timothy Brook
Book DescriptionThe Ming dynasty was the last great Chinese dynasty before the Manchu conquest in 1644. During that time, China, not Europe, was the center of the world: the European voyages of exploration were searching not just for new lands but also for new trade routes to the Far East. In this book, Timothy Brook eloquently narrates the changing landscape of life over the three centuries of the Ming (1368-1644), when China was transformed from a closely administered agrarian realm into a place of commercial profits and intense competition for status. "The Confusions of Pleasure" marks a significant departure from the conventional ways in which Chinese history has been written. Rather than recounting the Ming dynasty in a series of political events and philosophical achievements, it narrates this longue duree in terms of the habits and strains of everyday life. Peppered with stories of real people and their negotiations of a rapidly changing world, this book provides a new way of seeing the Ming dynasty that not only contributes to the scholarly understanding of the period but also provides an entertaining and accessible introduction to Chinese history for anyone.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520221543
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 12-Aug-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Timothy Brook
Troubled Empire, Paperback (March 2013)
The Mongol takeover in the 1270s changed the course of Chinese history. The Confucian empire - a millennium and a half in the making - was suddenly thrust under foreign occupation. This title explores what happened to China between these two dramatic invasions.
China's Last Empire, Paperback (September 2012)
The Great Qing was the second major Chinese empire ruled by foreigners. This book challenges the standard narrative of Qing China as a decadent, inward-looking state that failed to keep pace with the modern West. It presents the history of China's last empire that is useful for understanding the challenges facing China today.
China's Cosmopolitan Empire, Paperback (April 2012)» View all books by Timothy Brook
The Tang dynasty is often called China's golden age, a period of commercial, religious, and cultural connections from Korea and Japan to the Persian Gulf, and a time of unsurpassed literary creativity. This title captures a dynamic era in which the empire reached its greatest geographical extent under Chinese rule.
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Author Biography - Timothy Brook
Timothy Brook is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Praying for Power: Buddhism and the Formation of Gentry Society in Late-Ming China (1993), and Quelling the People: The Military Suppression of the Beijing Democracy Movement (1992), and the coeditor of Nation Work: Asian Elites and National Identities (1999) and China and Historical Capitalism: Genealogies of Sinological Knowledge (1999).
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