The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

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It is commonly and mistakenly believed that there is a single Great Wall of China. Rather, it is made up of many small walls built over the course of time. The first defensive wall in China dates from around 688 BC, but the Great Walls that we know today were mainly completed in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Man has used it in ways that range from a potent defensive measure to an iconic piece of cultural heritage to a major tourist attraction. The Great Wall of China brings together some fascinating insights into the study of the Walls. Diverse methods are employed to illustrate the social and political history of the Wall from ancient times up to the present day. Scholarly, but accessible essays are interspersed with contemporary interviews which reveal the local experience of this Chinese institution. The book is divided into 6 major themes: Fame, Form, Forces, Foundations, Frontiers and Facades and comprises 13 essays by authors from Australia, China and the US. Accompanying an exhibition held in the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and the National Museum of China, Beijing, they consider the Wall from historical, defensive, conservationist and touristic perspectives.
This is an innovative and informative discussion of the Great Walls of China which deserves to stand as a classic for all those interested in this illustrious construction.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 220 x 280 x 22.1mm | 1,446.96g
  • Sydney, Australia
  • English
  • Includes 250 colour illustrations
  • 1863171215
  • 9781863171212
  • 1,640,671

Table of contents

Contents: Forewords; Map; Timeline 1; Timeline 2; Chinese Dynasties; Great Walls of China; Introduction; China's Most Famous Ruin; The Great Tourist Icon;; The Great Walls of China; Walls as Heritage; Living with the Past; Workings of the Wall; Manning the Wall: Qi Jiguang; The Emperor's Call North; The Material Cultures of the Walls; Delimited Boundaries: An Overview of Great Wall Studies in the late Twentieth and early Twenty-First Centuries; Barbarian Walls; Mother Earth; The Great Wall Embodied; Mapping for the Kingdom; Inside Out; The Porous Wall; Prince Gong's Folly; Steaming through the Wall; Getting to the Great Wall; Bibliography; Glossary; Acknowledgements; About the Authors; About the Museums; Picture credits.
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Review quote

' ... highly useful exhibition catalogue ... Highly recommended.' -Choice ' ... sumptuously illustrated and authoritative volume ... Art News Letter 2007 'It is much more than a museum catalogue, however, being a self-sufficient volume of permanent interest.' The Art Book 2009
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About Cheng Dalin

Claire Roberts is Senior Curator of Asian decorative arts and design at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. She has curated several exhibitions and recently received a doctorate in Chinese Art. Geremie R. Barme is Professor of Chinese History and Director of the China Heritage Project, Australian National University. He is the editor of East Asian History and author of several publications. He lived and studied in China during the final days of the Cultural Revolution. Cheng Dalin is President of the Great Wall Research Council. Sang Ye is an oral historian. Luo Zhewen is the former director of the Chinese Culture Heritage Research Institute and author of publications on ancient Chinese architecture and the Great Wall. Xu Pingfang is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chinese Archaeology Research Association and Research Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute for Archaeology. Yang Wehne is a Research Fellow, National Museum of China. Liu Ruzhong is a Research Fellow, National Museum of China. Wang Yueqian is a Research Fellow, National Museum of China. Bruce G. Doar is Associate Professor, China Heritage Project, Australian National University. Robert Renew is Senior Curator of Engineering and Design, Powerhouse Museum. Uradyn E. Bulag is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College and the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York. Jeremy Clarke is a PhD scholar, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. Wang Jiapeng is Senior Curator, Palace Museum, Beijing.
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