Superpower Interrupted – Michael Schuman

Review From User :

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC.

Superpower Interrupted is what you might call a throughline history book: a really focused work from an expert (Michael Schuman has written extensively about China for TIME, The Atlantic, and other pubs) that illustrates how accumulating events of the past make up our present, in this case how China's history has influenced their national identity and relationships with the rest of the world today. Very timely and well-written, it's a whirlwind tour of several thousand years of history that highlights:
-some of the key events that helped develop Chinese exceptionalism
-a non-Western foreign policy, both today and hundreds of years in the past
-the immense role China has played in world history, particularly in East Asia (though do not discount its influence on Europe hundreds of years ago- one of my favorite stats from the book is that 3/4 of the silver from the New World ended up in China)

There's only so much detail that can be included in a 400-page book that covers thousands of years of history, so I rather wish this had been twice as big or split into multiple volumes. That said, the main points of the book are loud and clear within the accessible length, and I can comb through the daunting bibliography at the end of the book if I really want more.

For who like Lies My Teacher Told Me and Zinn's A People's History of the United States: unlike your average high school textbook that also condenses a lot of history, Superpower Interrupted doesn't paint history as an inevitable march of progress- the messiness and ambiguity of events still remains.

Highly recommended to just about everyone interested in current events and world history.


Media Size : 20.7 MB

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