Tutorial in "China in Hot & Cold Wars in Modern Times" . . .


This tutorial explores three types of conflicts in China modern experiences: civil wars, international conflicts, and Cold War confrontations.  Reading materials include major scholarships on these topics. The class meets biweekly, and the students are evaluated on the basis of participation, short book reviews, and a final paper.

Reading List for “China in Wars”

Civil Wars


  • Titles on the Taiping Rebellion (such as Jonathan Spence, God’s Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan; Stephen Platt, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War)
  • Titles on the warlords of the early Republican period (Lucian Pye, Warlord Politics: Conflict and Coalition in the Modernization of Republican China; Edward McCord, The Power of the Gun: The Emergence of Modern Chinese Warlordism; His-sheng Chi, Warlord Politics in China)
  • Titles on the Nationalist-Communist political-military struggles (such as Odd Westad, Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1945-1950; Jay Taylor, The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China; Sun Shuyun, The Long March: The True History of Communist China’s Founding Myth)


International Conflicts


  • Titles on the Sino-French war, 1884-85 (such as Lloyd Eastman, Throne and Mandarins: China’s Search for a Policy during the Sino-French Controversy, 1880-85) 
  • Titles on the first Sino-Japanese war, 1894-95 (such as P.C.M. Paine, The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95
  • Titles on the Boxer war, 1900 (such as Joseph Esherick, The Origins of the Boxer Uprising; Paul Cohen, History in Three Keys)
  • Titles on China and World War I (such as Guoqi Xu, China and the Great War)
  • Titles on China and World War II, or the second Sino-Japanese war, 1937-45 (such as Rana Mitter, The Forgotten Ally; Hans van de Ven and Diana Lary, Negotiating China’s Destiny in World War II; Michael Schaller, The U.S. Crusade in China, 1938-45; P.C.M. Paine, The Wars for Asia, 1911-1949 )


Cold War Confrontations


  • Titles on the Korean War, 1950-53 (such as Chen Jian, China’s Road to the Korea War; Shu Guang Zhang, Mao’s Military Romanticism: China and the Korean War, 1950-1953; Shen Zhihua, Mao, Stalin, and the Korean War)
  • Titles on China and the Vietnam War, 1965-73 (such as Zhai Qiang, China and the Vietnam Wars, 1950-1975; Priscilla Roberts, Behind the Bamboo Curtain: China, Vietnam, and the World beyond Asia; Mari Olsen, Soviet-Vietnam Relations and the Role of China 1949-64; Lien-Hang T. Nguyen, Haoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam)
  • Titles on the Sino-Indian border conflict, 1962 (such as Neville Maxwell, India’s China War, and same author, China’s Borders: Settlements and Conflicts; Jasjit Singh, China’s India War, 1962; John Garver, Protracted Contest: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Twentieth Century)
  • Titles on the Sino-Soviet border conflict, 1969 (Lorenz Luthi, The Sino-Soviet Split; Mingjiang Li, Mao’s China and the Sino-Soviet Split: Ideological Dilemma; Sergey Radchenko, Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962-1967)
  • Titles on the Sino-Vietnam war, 1979 (such as Zhang Xiaoming, Deng Xiaoping’s Long War: The Military Conflict between China and Vietnam, 1979-1991; King C. Chen, China’s War with Vietnam, 1979; Odd Westad and Sophie Quinn-Judge, The Third Indochina War: Conflict between China, Vietnam and Cambodia, 1972-79; Nicholas Khoo, Collateral Damage: Sino-Soviet Rivalry and the Termination of the Sino-Vietnamese Alliance)

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
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