China's Warlords (Oxford in Asia Paperbacks)

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9780195861792: China's Warlords (Oxford in Asia Paperbacks)
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The warlord period--from 1912 until roughly the beginning of the Second World War--is one of the most extraordinary and colorful in the whole of Chinese history. Yet most English-language studies of the period have focused on either individual warlords or on warlords as a socio-political phenomonon.
This book describes the careers and characters of a number of warlords, locating them in history as regards their politics, methods, military prowess, life-style, ethics, and ideals. Frequent reference is made to the economic and social conditions which accompanied warlordism in China, but this is primarily a book about a group of historical figures rather than a social history.
Included here are Yuan Shikai, who shared leadership of the Republic with Sun Yatsen before attempting in 1917 to establish a new dynasty with himself as emperor; the "Christian warlord" Feng Yuxiang, who stands out from the rest for his recognition of the benefits to morale and combat-readiness of more humane treatment of his conscripted troops; and a host of others from throughout the country.
Illustrated with photographs of each of the primary characters discussed, China's Warlords will bring the period alive both to new readers and experienced scholars of Chinese history.

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"Bonavia's greatest gift was an ability to grasp essentials when others were distracted by appearances and details. This is the best first book to read on the warlord period...Bonavia really understood what was going on in the period, and he conveys that grasp to the reader with clarity and grace."--The Journal of Military History


"...provides a readable introduction..."--The Historian


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