1587, a Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline

Front Cover
Yale University Press, Jan 1, 1981 - History - 278 pages
Winner of the American Book Award for History

"If you buy only one work on pre-modern Chinese history this year, make it this one."--W. S. Atwell, History

In 1587, the Year of the Pig, nothing very special happened in China. Yet in the seemingly unspectacular events of this ordinary year, Ray Huang finds exemplified the roots of China's perennial inability to adapt to change.

Through fascinating accounts of the lives of seven prominent officials, he fashions a remarkably vivid portrayal of the court and the ruling class of late imperial China. In revealing the subtle but inexorable forces that brought about the paralysis and final collapse of the Ming dynasty, Huang offers the reader perspective into the problems China has faced through the centuries.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ritaer - LibraryThing

This book examines the lives of several high ranking men to illustrate the ways in which the traditional government of Ming China was inflexible and unable to meet the needs of the nation. Far from a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - xenchu - LibraryThing

This is a book for a specialist. The author assumes a fair amount of knowledge from the reader, from the Four Books to yin and yang. Also the syntax of the writing is a bit unusual. I believe that the ... Read full review


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