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Description - Bureaucracy and the State in Early China by Li Feng

Ancient Chinese society developed a sophisticated and complex bureaucracy which is still in operation today and which had its pristine form in the government of the Western Zhou from 1045 to 771 BC. Li Feng, one of the leading scholars of the period, explores and interprets the origins and operational characteristics of that bureaucracy on the basis of the contemporaneous inscriptions of royal edicts cast onto bronze vessels, many of which have been discovered quite recently in archaeological explorations. The inscriptions clarify the political and social construction of the Western Zhou and the ways in which it exercised its authority. The discussion is accompanied by illustrations of the bronze vessels and their inscriptions, together with full references to their discovery and current ownership. The book also discusses the theory of bureaucracy and criticizes the various models of early-archaic states on the basis of close reading of the inscriptions.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521884471
ISBN-10: 0521884470
Format: Hardback
(247mm x 174mm x 25mm)
Pages: 400
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 11-Dec-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Li Feng

Feng Li is Associate Professor of Early Chinese Cultural History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. He has undertaken extensive fieldwork on Bronze-Age sites in China and is the author of Landscape and Power in Early China: The Crisis and Fall of the Western Zhou 1045-771 BC (Cambridge, 2006).

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