Bibliography for Chinese History and Culture


We particularly recommend to use these following two books as the textbooks for the chronological readings of Chinese History and the original primary sources of supplementary readings:

  • Patricia Buckley Ebrey, The Cambridge Illustrated History of China, 2nd (Cambridge UP, 2010)
  • Theodore de Bary and Irene Bloom, eds., Sources of Chinese Tradition, 2nd ed., volume 1 and 2 (Columbia UP, 2000 and 2001)

The followings are recommended by the ChinaX course:

  • Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China (NY: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2014)
  • Ssu-yü Teng and John Fairbank, eds., China’s Response to the West: A Documentary Survey (1839-1923). (Harvard UP, 1979)
  • L. Cranmer-byng ed., An Embassy to China: being the journal kept by Lord Macartney during his embassy to the Emperor Chʻien-lung, 1793-1794. (Archon Books, 1963)
  • Mason Gentzler, ed., Changing China, Readings in History of China from the Opium War to the Present (Praeger, 1977)
  • William C. Kirby, Germany and Republican China. (Stanford UP, 1984)
  • Hosea Ballou Morse, ed., The Chronicles of the East Indian Company, trading to China, 1635-1834 (vol. II). (Harvard UP; Clarendon Press, 1926)
  • Steven E. Phillips, ed., Foreign Relations of United States: 1969-1976, Vol. XVII China, 1969-1972. (U.S. G.P.O., 2006)

General History

  • The Cambridge History of China:
    • The volumes of the series are as follows:[
      1. The Ch’in and Han Empires, 221 BC–AD 220 (edited by Denis Twitchett and Michael Loewe),
      2. Sui and T’ang China, 589–906 AD, Part 1 (edited by Twitchett), September 1979. This covers the political history of the time.
      3. Sui and T’ang China, 589–906 AD, Part 2 (still unpublished. This is intended to cover cultural and economic topics related to the Sui and Tang dynasties).
      4. The Sung Dynasty and its Precursors, 907–1279, Part 1 (edited by Twitchett and Paul Jakov Smith).This part covers the political history of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms and the Song dynasty.
        • Sung China, 960–1279 AD, Part 2 (edited by John Chaffee and Twitchett). This part covers government, economy, law, education, society, and philosophy of the Song dynasty.
      5. Alien Regimes and Border States, 907–1368 (edited by Twitchett and Herbert Franke), This covers the Khitan Liao dynasty, the Jurchen Jin dynasty, the Tangut Western Xia dynasty, and the Mongol Yuan dynasty.
      6. The Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 1 (edited by Frederick W. Mote and Twitchett).This covers the political history of the Ming dynasty.
      7. The Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 2 (edited by Twitchett and Mote), January 1998.This two-book volume covers government, law, foreign relations, economy, culture, and religion of the Ming period.
      8. The Ch’ing Empire to 1800, Part 1 (edited by Willard J. Peterson). This covers the Manchu conquest of China, and the political history and society of the Qing dynasty from Nurhaci to the Qianlong Emperor.
        • The Ch’ing Dynasty to 1800, Part 2 (edited by Peterson).This covers early Qing conquests (Taiwan, Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Tibet) and international relations (Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and maritime Europeans), as well as provincial governance, learning, Taoism, and local elites in the early Qing.
      9. Late Ch’ing 1800–1911, Part 1 (edited by John K. Fairbank), June 1978. ISBN 978-0-521-21447-6. This covers the political history of the last 111 years of Manchu rule over China. online
      10. Late Ch’ing 1800–1911, Part 2 (edited by Fairbank and Kwang-Ching Liu). This covers economy, foreign relations, political and social changes, and the revolution movement of the late Qing.
      11. Republican China, 1912–1949, Part 1 (edited by Fairbank and Twitchett).
      12. Republican China, 1912–1949, Part 2 (edited by Fairbank and Albert Feuerwerker).
      13. The People’s Republic, Part 1: Emergence of Revolutionary China, 1949–1965 (edited by Roderick MacFarquhar and Fairbank).
      14. The People’s Republic, Part 2: Revolutions Within the Chinese Revolution, 1966–1982 (edited by MacFarquhar and Fairbank).
  • The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 BC

  • China: A New History by John King Fairbank
  • The Cambridge Illustrated History of China 2nd Edition by Patricia Buckley Ebrey.

  • China: A History by John Keay
  • China: Its History and Culture by W. Scott Morton and Charlton M. Lewis
  • A comic Series of Chinese History:
    • Foundations of Chinese Civilization: The Yellow Emperor to the Han Dynasty (2697 BCE – 220 CE) (Understanding China Through Comics) by Jing Liu
    • Understanding China through Comics, Volume 2: The Three Kingdoms through the Tang Dynasty (220 – 907)

    • Barbarians and the Birth of Chinese Identity: The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms to the Yuan Dynasty (907–1368) (Understanding China Through Comics)

    • The Making of Modern China: The Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty (1368–1912) (Understanding China Through Comics)

  • Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 1 2nd Edition by William Theodore De Bary, Irene Bloom, Joseph Adler 

  • China’s Early Empires: A Re-appraisal (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications) by Michael Nylan and Michael Loewe

  • Images of Women in Chinese Thought and Culture: Writings from the Pre-Qin Period through the Song Dynasty by Robin Wang

  • Chronicle of the Chinese Emperors: The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial China by Paludan, Ann

  • Women in Early Imperial China (Asia/Pacific/Perspectives) by Bret Hinsch
  • Yi Zhongtian’s Chinese History  易中天中华史(Chinese Edition) (Chinese) by Yi Zhongtian (a set of Chinese History

  • Early China: A Social and Cultural History (New Approaches to Asian History) by Li Feng
  • Treasures Unearthed: Chinese Archaeological Artefacts from Shang to Tang by Barry Till

  • Music, Cosmology, and the Politics of Harmony in Early China (SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture 2012 by Erica Fox Brindley 

  • Pre Qin Dynasty History (Chinese Edition) (Chinese) by liu qi yu
  • The History of Political Thought in the Pre-Qin Dynasty (Chinese Edition) by Liang Qi Chao

Pre-Qin Era

  • Stories Of Chinese Historical Figures Series: Pre-Qin Dynasty (2 Vol.Set) (English and Chinese Edition) byHuang Zhengdong

Qin and Han Dynasty 

  • The First Emperor of China by Jonathan Clements
  • Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty by Qian Sima and Burton Watson
  • Worlds of Bronze and Bamboo: Sima Qian’s Conquest of History by Grant Hardy

  • Herodotus and Sima Qian: The First Great Historians of Greece and China: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford Series in History & Culture by Thomas R. Martin

  • The Grand Scribe’s Records, Vol. 7: The Memoirs of Pre-Han China (Volume VII)by Ssu-Ma Ch’ien and Jr. William H. Nienhauser

  • The Qin Dynasty Terra-cotta Army of Dreams by Zhang Lin
  • The Terra Cotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty by Mr Willie Ortiz
  • The Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shihuang (Chinese/English edition: FLP China Travel and Tourism) by Cao Lei and Lan Peijin

  • Valiant Imperial Warriors 2,200 Years Ago: Terra-Cotta Armoured Warriors and Horses of the Qin Shi Huang Museum by Xiaocong Wu

  • The Terra Cotta Army: China’s First Emperor and the Birth of a Nation by John Man

  • Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor by Jane Portal
  • The first Emperor: China’s terracotta army by Jane Portal

  • LEGIONS OF CLAY: Terracotta Army of the China Qin Dynasty by Robert Michaels

  • Emperor Qin’s Terra-Cotta Army (Digging Up the Past (Hardcover)by Diane Bailey and John Kong-Cheong Leung
  •  Terra Cotta Army of Emperor Qin (A Timestop Book) by Caroline Lazo

  • China’s First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors by Frances Wood

  • The Qin Terracotta Army: Treasures of Lintong (National Museums & Monuments of Ancient China Ser.)by Zhang Wenli
  • Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier by Ying Chang Compestine and Vinson Compestine

  • Emperor Qin’s Terra Cotta Army (Unearthing Ancient Worlds)by Michael Capek

  • Ancient Sichuan and the Unification of China (S U N Y Series in Chinese Local Studies)by Steven F. Sage
  •  China’s Terracotta Army and the First Emperor’s Mausoleum by Yuan Zhongyi

  • The Emperor’s Silent Army: Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China by Jane O’Connor

  •  The Eternal Army: The Terracotta Soldiers of the First Emperor by Roberto Ciarla and Araldo De Luca

  • First Emperor of China by R. W. L. Guisso , Catherine Pagani, David Miller 

  • Hidden Army: Clay Soldiers of Ancient China (All Aboard Reading) by Jane O’Connor
  • Xi’an, Shaanxi: Chang’an and the Terracotta Army, First Edition (Odyssey Illustrated Guide)by Gerald Hatherly and Paul Mooney

  • Study the Book of Bamboo Slips in Qin Dynasty (Chinese Edition) by sun he

  • The First Emperor of China: The Greatest Archeological Find of Our Time by Arthur Cotterell

  • The Incredible Story of China’s Buried Warriors (Frozen in Time) by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

  • Qin Dynasty–Misinterpreted History (Chinese Edition) by liu yi guang
  • The Qin Dynasty Powerful Minister Li Si and Zhao Gao (Chinese Edition)by Lin LiMing

  • Qin Dynasty (221.BC— 206. BC)— Northern and Southern Dynasties420-589 (Chinese Edition)by Yun Feiyang

  • Qin Dynasty (set of 4 volumes) by WANG XIN LONG

  • I Want to Unify: The First Emperor of Qin Dynasty (Chinese Edition) by kang qiao and tao fei

  • The Culture of the Qin and Han Dynasties of China (Ancient Cultures and Civilizations)by Vic Kovacs.The First Emperor: Selections from the Historical Records (Oxford World’s Classics)by Sima Qian and K. E. Brashier
  • Qin Dynasty Li Si’s Yishan Stele Inscription

  • The Qin Dynasty (Chinese Edition)by Yi Zhongtian
  • First Emperor of Qin, Seven Powers in the Warring State Period and the Qin Dynasty (Chinese Edition)by Qiao Jitang

  • Records of Heroes in Chu-Han Dynasties: the fall of Qin Dynasty (Chinese Edition) (Chinese) by liu yi ying 

  • The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han (History of Imperial China )by Mark Edward Lewis and Timothy Brook
  • The History of Qin and Han Dynasties (Chinese Edition) by qian mu 

  • Age of Empires: Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties by Zhixin Sun and I-tien Hsing

  • From Qin Dynasty to Two Han Dynasties – Chinese History of Art – General History of World Art (Chinese Edition) by Li Song

  • Research on the Military Science Culture in the Qin and Han Dynasties (Chinese Edition)by huang pu min 

  • The History of Qin and Han Dynasties History (Politics Volume) (Chinese Edition) by Lv Simian

  • The Rise of the Chinese Empire: Frontier, Immigration, and Empire in Han China, 130 B.C.-A.D.157 by Chun-shu Chang
  • A Guide to the Tomb and Shrine Art of the Han Dynasty 206 B.C.-A.D. 220 (Chinese Studies)
  • Savage Exchange: Han Imperialism, Chinese Literary Style, and the Economic Imagination (Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series) by Tamara T. Chin
  •  Culture in Qin and Han Dynasty (Chinese Edition) by wang ren bo
  • The Culture of the Qin and Han Dynasties of China (Ancient Cultures and Civilizations) by Vic Kovacs [Children’s book]

  • The Establishment of the Han Empire and Imperial China (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events of the Ancient World) by Grant Hardy
  • China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200-750 AD by Jean M. Jamesby James C. Y. Watt and An Jiayao
  • Chinese History (Part 2, The First Empire, Qin, Wei and Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties, 6 Volumes) (Chinese Edition) by Yi Zhongtian

  • Division to unification in imperial China : the three kingdoms to the Tang Dynasty (220-907) by Jing L
  • The Three Kingdoms of Ancient China: The History and Legacy of the Reunification of China after the Han Dynasty by Charles River Editors

Wei Jin Southern & Northern Dynasties

Sui Dynasty


Tang Dynasty

  • China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty (History of Imperial China) by Mark Edward Lewis and Timothy Brook
  • ZBT Series:Annuals of War of Song Dynasty(960-1279) by Yang Ying

  • Defending Heaven: China’s Mongol Wars, 1209-1370 by James Waterson