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This book addresses the historical relationship that has arisen between the concept of capitalism and the idea of China. Formulated by European intellectuals in order to identify the social formation in which they found themselves, capitalism was portrayed as unique to Europe and as an organic outgrowth of Western civilization. In this way, China was rejected as a model of civilization, and seen merely as despotic, feudal or stagnant. This Eurocentric judgement has hung over all subsequent thinking about China, even influencing Chinese perceptions of their own history. The aim of this collaborative project is to examine how the experience of capitalism as a European social formation and as a world-system has shaped knowledge of China. In addition the volume aims to establish new foundations on which a theory of Chinese society might be built, in order to perceive and understand Chinese development in less Eurocentric terms.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521525916
ISBN-10: 0521525918
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 5-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Timothy Brook

Timothy Brook is a historian of China since the fourteenth century. He is currently Professor of Chinese History in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia, where he holds the Republic of China Chair at the Institute for Asian Research. Previous appointments include Mactaggart Fellow at the University of Alberta, Professor of History at the University of Toronto and Stanford University, and Shaw Professor of Chinese at the University of Oxford, from 2007 to 2009. He has published five books on the Ming dynasty, three on China in the twentieth century, and one on global history. He was also the General Editor of the six-volume History of Imperial China. His most widely read and translated book is Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global Age, awarded the Mark Lynton Prize from the Columbia School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, and the Prix Auguste Pavie from the Academie des Sciences d'Outre-mer.

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