Ancient China in Context

The transition from the Chinese classical period to the Chinese Empire in 221 BC was a centuries-long process of state rebuilding, law creation, and war. From this turbulent background of autocracy within and conflict without, there emerged the philosophies of China's Golden Age of Thought, whose literary expression is one of the treasures of the world cultural heritage.

A full understanding of the period and its philosophy has long been hampered by uncertainty about the nature and date of these classical texts. To this problem, Bruce and Taeko Brooks, principals of the Warring States Project at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, bring the fruits of decades of research. Worldwide scholarly reaction to the first proposal for this book series was enthusiastic. Ancient China in Context is meant for first-acquaintance readers, from undergraduates to professionals in other fields. First to be released is a survey, The Emergence of China, which weaves together the contributions of the major schools of thought into a consecutive account of the intellectual and social history behind the creation of the Chinese Empire. Several companion volumes will follow, highlighting an aspect of that history, as viewed from the perspective of one major text or traditiony. Except for Emergence, the books in this series will include Chinese characters for the reading selections, and can thus serve as material for language courses as well as for general acquaintance.

Titles in the Series

Detailed descriptions are available at the above pages, which also include an order link for books whose publication has been announced.

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22 Oct 2014 / Contact The Project / Exit to Publications Page