Great Wall of China From History to Myth

ISBN-10: 052142707X
ISBN-13: 9780521427074
Edition: 1990
List price: $35.99 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: The Great Wall of China is renowned as one of the most impressive and intriguing man-made structures on earth. It is also the subject of an awesome mythology, embedded in both learned and popular imaginations, which has grown up and now obscured the  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.99
Copyright year: 1990
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 1/31/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 316
Size: 5.50" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

The Great Wall of China is renowned as one of the most impressive and intriguing man-made structures on earth. It is also the subject of an awesome mythology, embedded in both learned and popular imaginations, which has grown up and now obscured the historical record. Even the maps which chart the Wall's position offer erroneous accounts of a phenomenon which has never been accurately surveyed. Arthur Waldron reveals that the notion of an ancient and continuously existing Great Wall, one of modern China's national symbols and a legend in the eyes of the West, is in fact a myth. His fascinating account reveals the strategic and political context for the decision to build walls as fortified defences, and explores its profound implications for nomadic and agricultural life under the Ming dynasty. Taking up the insights offered into more recent Chinese politics, the book concludes with a searching investigation of the Wall's new meanings in the myths - departing from that history - fostered in our own century.

List of illustrations
Acknowledgments
Note on romanization
Introduction: what is the Great Wall of China?
First Considerations
Early Chinese walls
Strategic origins of Chinese walls
The Making of the Great Wall
Geography and strategy: the importance of the Ordos
Security without walls: early Ming strategy and its collapse
Toward a new strategy: the Ordos crisis and the first walls
Politics and military policy at the turn of the sixteenth century
The second debate over the Ordos
The heyday of wall-building
The Significance of Wall-Building
The Great Wall and foreign policy: the problem of compromise
The Wall acquires new meanings
Notes
Bibliography
Chinese and Japanese materials
Western materials
Glossary
Index

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