What do the sages of ancient China have to teach us about living in the 21st century? The Harvard professor and author of The Path, Michael Puett, recommends the texts you need to read to find out. He picks the best books of Chinese philosophy. (You can buy all five books—the specific editions recommended by Michael—by clicking here (US) or here (UK)).
Kim Jong-un's posturing over nuclear weapons is a distraction from more pressing concerns: the extreme poverty and disenfranchisement of his people, says North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee. She chooses five books for understanding the hermit kingdom.
by Jan Morris
Hong Kong Noir: Fifteen true tales from the dark side of the city
by Feng Chi-shun
by the Hong Kong Writers Circle
The Heritage Hiker’s Guide to Hong Kong
by Pete Spurrier
Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong
by Gordon Mathews
Hong Kong continues to simmer with tension, two years on from the ‘Umbrella Protests’ that made news around the world. But will it lead to advances in democracy or crackdowns by Beijing? Jason Ng, lawyer and author of Umbrellas in Bloom, chooses five of the best books for understanding China’s ‘foster child’ city.
The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia
by James C Scott
The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China
by Mark C Elliott
by Jiang Rong
The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History
by Rian Thum
Forgotten Kingdom: Lijiang and the Naxi People
by Peter Goullart
China’s minority peoples have shaped the country’s history and its identity. They led its most successful dynasty, the Qing. But nowadays, their role has been reduced to that of tourist spectacle. Beijing-based writer James Palmer picks the best books on China’s ethnic minorities.
In contrast to Eastern Europe, the 1989 protests in China did not lead to the overthrow of the Communist Party. But if China’s leaders chose the right course on June 4th, 1989, why are they still frightened to come to terms with it? Sinologist and historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom picks the best books to understand events at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and around China on that hot summer night.
The late China specialist and UCLA professor said sometimes he felt genuine admiration for China’s technocratic leaders. Other days he shook his head at their obsessive intransigence and China’s endemic political insecurity
China covers a vast territory, and is far more ethnically and culturally diverse than many outsiders assume. The veteran Chinese language teacher recommends books he believes every Chinese language learner should read.
The changing relationship between China and America will be one of the defining foreign policy issues of our times. To understand its dynamic, says the sinologist, we must take account of China’s lingering sense of victimhood
A century after the fall of China’s last imperial dynasty, the legacy of revolution remains deeply ambiguous in today’s People’s Republic. The China scholar tells us about the country’s tumultuous changes from 1911 to the present day
The historian and China specialist says that to get a real sense of the country you need to focus on individuals and their stories. Here he chooses five books that draw on China’s long tradition of biographical writing
Former Beijing bureau chief of the Financial Times shares his insights on the Chinese Communist Party – from the absolute horror at the destruction of Maoist times, to Yao Ming, to political power structures and more
Countries do have to come to terms with their own history, and it’s unhealthy that China has not yet come to terms with the Cultural Revolution, argues the West’s leading scholar of the period, Roderick MacFarquhar. He chooses the best five books on the Cultural Revolution.