The Cambridge History of China: Volume 5, The Sung Dynasty and Its Precursors, 907-1279, Part 1: Sung Dynasty and Its Precursors, 907-1279 v. 5, Pt. 1

The Cambridge History of China: Volume 5, The Sung Dynasty and Its Precursors, 907-1279, Part 1: Sung Dynasty and Its Precursors, 907-1279 v. 5, Pt. 1

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This first of two volumes on the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) and its Five Dynasties and Southern Kingdoms precursors presents the political history of China from the fall of the T'ang Dynasty in 907 to the Mongol conquest of the Southern Sung in 1279. Its twelve chapters survey the personalities and events that marked the rise, consolidation, and demise of the Sung polity during an era of profound social, economic, and intellectual ferment. The authors place particular emphasis on the emergence of a politically conscious literati class during the Sung, characterized by the increasing importance of the examination system early in the dynasty and on the rise of the tao-hsueh (Neo-Confucian) movement toward the end. In addition, they highlight the destabilizing influence of factionalism and ministerial despotism on Sung political culture and the impact of the powerful steppe empires of the Khitan Liao, Tangut Hsi Hsia, Jurchen Chin, and Mongol Yuan on the shape and tempo of Sung dynastic events.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 1128 pages
  • 162.56 x 233.68 x 68.58mm | 1,610.24g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 12 tables
  • 0521812488
  • 9780521812481
  • 700,485

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Author Information

The late Denis Twitchett was Gordon Wu Professor of Chinese Studies at Princeton University from 1980 to 1994. He was instrumental in conceiving and shaping the 15-volume Cambridge History of China. He died in Cambridge, England, in February 2006. Paul Jakov Smith is the John R. Coleman Professor of Social Sciences and Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Haverford College. Smith studies the institutional, social, and cultural history of mid-imperial China, spanning the Sung (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1368), and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties. His current book project is entitled War and Political Culture in Mid-Imperial China: The Song Military and the Literati State.

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Review quote

"This addition to the authoritative multivolume Cambridge History of China presents a chronological account broadly focused on the political and military history of a period of vast, deep, and irreversible change...Scholarly footnotes, 32 maps, and a 53-page bibliography offer guidance for further research...No serious student can afford to neglect this excellent starting point for research and reflection. In tandem with its forthcoming companion volume of topical essays, it testifies to the radical vigor of scholarship that during the last 50 years has radically changed and continues to transform scholarly understanding of these three and a half centuries. Indispensable to advanced students. Summing Up: Essential." --Choice

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