There are countless Chinese History courses, tutorials, articles available online, but for some, having a book is still a necessity to learn. This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.
- Chinese History: A New Manual, Fifth Edition (2017)
- China: A History (Volume 1): From Neolithic Cultures through the Great Qing Empire, (10,000 BCE – 1799 CE) (2010)
- China: A History (2011)
- The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (2017)
- The Cambridge Illustrated History of China (2010)
- A Brief History of Chinese Civilization (2006)
- A Short History of China: From Ancient Dynasties to Economic Powerhouse (2013)
- A Short Chinese Philosophy (1997)
- Understanding China: A Guide to China’s Economy, History, and Political Culture (2010)
- Ancient China: A Captivating Guide to the Ancient History of China and the Chinese Civilization Starting from the Shang Dynasty to the Fall of the Han Dynasty (2019)
- The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han (History of Imperial China) (2010)
- Chinese History: A New Manual, Fourth Edition (Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series) (2015)
- A History of Chinese Political Thought (2017)
Endymion Wilkinson’s bestselling manual of Chinese history has long been an indispensable guide to all those interested in the civilization and history of China. The New Manual introduces students to different types of transmitted, excavated, and artifactual sources from prehistory to the twenty-first century.
China: A History (Volume 1): From Neolithic Cultures through the Great Qing Empire, (10,000 BCE – 1799 CE) (2010)
Available in one or two volumes, this accessible, yet rigorous, introduction to the political, social, and cultural history of China provides a balanced and thoughtful account of the development of Chinese civilization from its beginnings to the present day.Each volume includes ample illustrations, a full complement of maps, a chronological table, extensive notes, recommendations for further reading and an index.Volume 1: From Neolithic Cultures through the Great Qing Empire (10,000 BCE―1799).
China: A History (2011)
Many nations define themselves in terms of territory or people; China defines itself in terms of history. Taking into account the country’s unrivaled, voluminous tradition of history writing, John Keay has composed a vital and illuminating overview of the nation’s complex and vivid past. Keay’s authoritative history examines 5,000 years in China, from the time of the Three Dynasties through Chairman Mao and the current economic transformation of the country.
Far more than a history of the Silk Roads, this book is truly a revelatory new history of the world, promising to destabilize notions of where we come from and where we are headed next. From the Middle East and its political instability to China and its economic rise, the vast region stretching eastward from the Balkans across the steppe and South Asia has been thrust into the global spotlight in recent years.
More populous than any other country on earth, China also occupies a unique place in our modern world for the continuity of its history and culture. In this sumptuously illustrated single-volume history, now in its second edition, noted historian Patricia Buckley Ebrey traces the origins of Chinese culture from prehistoric times to the present.
A Brief History of Chinese Civilization (2006)
This compelling text explores the development of China through its art, religion, literature, and thought as well as through its economic, political, and social history. This author team combines strong research with extensive classroom teaching experience to offer a clear, consistent, and highly readable text that is accessible to students with no previous knowledge of the history of China.
An absorbing introduction to more than 4,000 years of Chinese history, this book tells the stories of the tyrants, despots, femmes fatales, artists, warriors, and philosophers who have shaped this fascinating and complex nation. It describes the amazing technological advances that China’s scientists and inventors made many hundreds of years before similar discoveries in Europe.
A Short Chinese Philosophy (1997)
The classic chronicle of Chinese philosophical thought from the third millennium to the 20th century.From the sage-kings of ancient China to the 1911 overthrow of the oldest monarchical system in the world, Chinese philosophy has evolved and influenced schools of thought around the world.
In this succinct, modest, and refreshingly forthright book–now revised and updated for the new century–Starr introduces to the uninitiated reader the background, basic data, and issues at stake in China’s crisis-ridden present and future.After ten years, John Bryan Starr has thoroughly revised and updated his classic introduction to the background of, the data about, and the issues at stake in China’s present and future.
Ancient China: A Captivating Guide to the Ancient History of China and the Chinese Civilization Starting from the Shang Dynasty to the Fall of the Han Dynasty (2019)
To understand present-day China, its politics, society, and culture in general, we have to go back to the beginnings of the Chinese civilization.In this book, you will be led on a journey through almost 2,000 years of Chinese history, showing you all the ups and downs of those ancient times, the sufferings and joys of the Chinese people, along with their greatest achievements and failures.
In 221 bc the First Emperor of Qin unified the lands that would become the heart of a Chinese empire. Though forged by conquest, this vast domain depended for its political survival on a fundamental reshaping of Chinese culture.
Endymion Wilkinson’s bestselling manual of Chinese history has long been an indispensable guide to all those interested in the civilization and history of China. The hugely enlarged third edition won the Stanislas Julien Prize for 2014.
China’s rapid rise as a regional and global power is one of the most important political developments of the twenty-first century.
Best Chinese History Books to Read
We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some chinese history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.
Lore and Verse: Poems on History in Early Medieval China
Author(s): Yue Zhang
ID: 3218040, Publisher: State University of New York Press, Year: 2022, Size: 3 Mb, Format: pdf
Exporting Chinese Architecture: History, Issues and “One Belt One Road”
Author(s): Charlie Qiuli Xue, Guanghui Ding
ID: 3358676, Publisher: Springer, Year: 2022, Size: 17 Mb, Format: pdf
A History of Chinese Literature
Author(s): Zhang Longxi
ID: 3377093, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2022, Size: 3 Mb, Format: pdf
Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are really best-sellers according to Los Angeles Times, others are written by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.