The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom

The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom

America and China, 1776 to the Present

Book - 2016
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"A narrative account of the relationship between the U.S. and China from the Revolutionary War to the present day. Our relationship with China remains one of the most complex and rapidly evolving, and is perhaps one of the most important to our nation's future. Here, John Pomfret, the author of the bestselling Chinese Lessons, takes us deep into these two countries' shared history, and illuminates in vibrant, stunning detail every major event, relationship, and ongoing development that has affected diplomacy between these two booming, influential nations. We meet early American missionaries and chart their influence in China, and follow a group of young Chinese students who enroll in American universities, eager to soak up Western traditions. We witness firsthand major and devastating events like the Boxer Rebellion, and the rise of Mao. We examine both nations' involvement in world events, such as World War I and II. Pomfret takes the myriad historical milestones of two of the world's most powerful nations and turns them into one fluid, fascinating story, leaving us with a nuanced understanding of where these two nations stand in relation to one another, and the rest of the world"-- Provided by publisher.
"From the clipper ships that ventured to Canton hauling cargos of American ginseng to swap for Chinese tea to the US warships facing off against China's growing navy in the South China Sea, from the Yankee missionaries who brought Christianity and education to China to the Chinese who built the American West, the United States and China have always been dramatically intertwined. For more than two centuries, American and Chinese statesmen, merchants, missionaries, and adventurers, men and women, have profoundly influenced the fate of these nations. While we tend to think of America's ties with China as starting in 1972 with the visit of President Richard Nixon to China, the patterns--rapturous enchantment followed by angry disillusionment--were set in motion hundreds of years earlier. Drawing on personal letters, diaries, memoirs, government documents, and contemporary news reports, John Pomfret reconstructs the surprising, tragic, and marvelous ways Americans and Chinese have engaged with one another through the centuries. A fascinating and thrilling account, The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom is also an indispensable book for understanding the most important--and often the most perplexing--relationship between any two countries in the world."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York :, Henry Holt and Company,, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780805092509
Characteristics: x, 693 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm


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Aug 01, 2017

Whew! A great exploration of the relationship between China and the US from 1776 to the present. Sure, it's a long history but John Pomfret is well-qualified to explain the whole thing. Not much to ask for a writer to do in 700 pages. Joking. He is well-qualified because he has lived in both countries for spells in each over a four decade period, marrying in China and raising his kids in both countries.
It is essential reading for anyone who wants to fill in the blanks and correct the information taught to us in schools and the press. The waxing and waning of co-operation between the two countries continues to this day.
A very enjoyable read.


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