The Gate of Heavenly Peace- The Chinese and Their Revolution

by Jonathan Spence



In this masterful, highly original approach to modern Chinese history, Jonathan D. Spence shows us the Chinese revolution through the eyes of its most articulate participants—the writers, historians, philosophers, and insurrectionists who shaped and were shaped by the turbulent events of the twentieth century. By skillfully combining literary materials with more conventional sources of political and social history, Spence provides an unparalleled look at China and her people and offers valuable insight into the continuing conflict between the implacable power of the state and the strivings of China’s artists, writers, and thinkers. (Penguin, Oct 28 1982, 560pp)

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About the Author

Jonathan Spence

Jonathan Spence


Jonathan D. Spence is a British-born historian and public intellectual specializing in Chinese history. He is a Professor Emeritus of Yale University where he was Sterling Professor of History from 1993 to 2008. A distinguished historian, prolific author, reviewer, and essayist, he has written numerous books on China. Including notably The Search for Modern China (1990); The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution 1895-1980  (1981); The Chan’s Great Continent: China in Western Minds (1998); and Mao Zedong (1999), The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (1984), and The Death of Woman Wang(1978). 

In May and June 2008 he gave the 60th anniversary Reith Lectures, broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Spence’smajor interest is modern China, and especially its relations with the West. Spence was named aMacArthur Fellow and has received ten honorary degrees and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Other honors include the C.M.G. (Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George) from Queen Elizabeth II.

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