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Lobby 2. Welcome The Reading Room Reading Challenges, 2010 topic #2
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Subject: "Review:Everyday Life in Early Imperial China" Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #934 "Review:Everyday Life in Early Imperial China"
Author zette     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jun 12th 2002
13570 posts
Date Sun Aug-08-10 12:02 AM
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Everyday Life in Early Imperial China by Michael Lowe

This book should not have taken me nearly as long to read as it did. It's a relatively short book with lots of drawings. It was not difficult to read. There were even some fascinating tidbits of information scattered throughout the book, and while I would have liked for it to have gone into more depth, it did provide a good backbone for further study.

The problem seemed, to me, to be in the dryness of the presentation. The book covers the Han Dynasty age from 202 BC to 220 AD. And while I didn't expect an in depth, scholarly review of the era in so short a work, I did think it might have done a little better. This was a land and time period filled with fascinating, exotic history and life, and yet Loewe seems to have backed away from areas that might have benefited from a little more color. This was especially noticeable when he dealt with anything having to do with Chinese religion or philosophy, both of which he rolled into one with little regard for what either offered. In this, it was obvious that his Western bias showed, and once so obviously apparent, it seemed to me that they colored other parts of the work as well.

This book did provide me with a few pieces of background material I needed for research purposes. The material on things like the ranking system for people and their rights and privileges is an excellent, quick over view of the subject. A look at life in the city is also interesting.

In all, not a bad book to read, even with the few flaws in presentation.


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Zette's Reading Challenge [View all] , zette, Tue Dec-15-09 07:06 PM
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