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  • Published: 15 April 2017
  • ISBN: 9781846146183
  • Imprint: Allen Lane
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $65.00
Categories:

Out Of China




The extraordinary story of how, through its struggle to throw off the countless foreigners who sought to exploit or ruin it, China became the powerful country it is today.

Even at the high noon of Europe's empire-building China managed to be one of the handful of countries not to succumb. Invaded, humiliated and looted, China nonetheless kept its sovereignty. Robert Bickers' major new book is the first to describe fully what has proved to be one of the modern era's most important stories: the long, often agonizing process by which the Chinese had by the end of the twentieth century regained control of their own country.

Out of China uses a brilliant array of unusual, strange and vivid sources to recreate a now fantastically remote world: the corrupt, lurid modernity of pre-war Shanghai, the often tiny patches of 'extra-territorial' land controlled by European powers (one of which, unnoticed, had mostly toppled into a river), the entrepôts of Hong Kong and Macao, and the myriad means, through armed threats, technology and legal chicanery, by which China was kept subservient until, gradually, it emerged from Western control.

Today Chinese nationalism stays firmly rooted in memories of its degraded past - the quest for self-sufficiency, the determination to assert China's standing in the world, to stake its outstanding territorial claims, and never to be vulnerable to renewed attack. History matters deeply to Beijing's current rulers - and Out of China explains why.

Praise for The Scramble for China

  • Published: 15 April 2017
  • ISBN: 9781846146183
  • Imprint: Allen Lane
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $65.00
Categories:

About the author

Robert Bickers

Robert Bickers is Professor of History and Director of the 'Historical Photographs of China' project at the University of Bristol. He is the author of Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai and The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914.

Also by Robert Bickers

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Praise for Out Of China

Powerful, astute and readable . . . meticulously researched, and written with flair and feeling

John Keay, Literary Review

At every airport bookshop, the traveller is offered shelves of volumes that purport to tell us how an emerging, powerful China will deal with the world. Those who wish to understand these issues more closely might be advised to read this fair and fascinating account

Chris Patten, Financial Times

Packed with interesting stories from a range of official and unofficial sources, The Scramble for China at times reads like historical fiction, veering into action-packed tales of intrigue. Throughout it maintains a humanity and sympathy for many of the individuals depicted in its pages

Beijing Today

Compellingly erudite and clear-sighted . . . thoughtful and sophisticated

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

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