What China and India Once Were

The Pasts That May Shape the Global Future

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Editor(s): 
Benjamin Elman, Sheldon Pollock
  • New York, NY: 
    Columbia University Press
    , September
     2018.
     384 pages.
     $35.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780231184717.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

In the early years of the twenty-first century, China and India have emerged as world powers. In many respects, this is a return to the historical norm for both countries. For much of the early modern period, China and India were global leaders in a variety of ways. In this book, prominent scholars seek to understand modern China and India through an unprecedented comparative analysis of their long histories.

Using new sources, making new connections, and reexamining old assumptions, noted scholars of China and India pair up in each chapter to tackle major questions by combining their expertise. What China and India Once Were details how these two cultural giants arrived at their present state, considers their commonalities and divergences, assesses what is at stake in their comparison, and, more widely, questions whether European modernity provides useful contrasts. In jointly composed chapters, contributors explore ecology, polity, gender relations, religion, literature, science and technology, and more, to provide the richest comparative account ever offered of China and India before the modern era. What China and India Once Were establishes innovative frameworks for understanding the historical and cultural roots of East and South Asia in global context, drawing on the variety of Asian pasts to offer new ways of thinking about Asian presents.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Benjamin Elman is Gordon Wu ’58 Professor of Chinese Studies and Professor of East Asian Studies and History at Princeton University. His books include A Cultural History of Modern Science in China (2006) and Civil Examinations and Meritocracy in Late Imperial China (2013).

Sheldon Pollock is Arvind Raghunathan Professor of South Asian Studies at Columbia University. His many publications include World Philology (2015) and A Rasa Reader: Classical Indian Aesthetics(Columbia, 2016). He is founding general editor of the Murty Classical Library of India.

Keywords: 

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