{short description of image}  


Philip Ball


Subtitle: A Secret History of China, Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2016, 341 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, illustrations


Reviewer Comment:

A very unique historical study of China from ancient eras to the present focused on how the control of water, in particular the great rivers, Yangtze and Yellow, have shaped its history, culture, economics, and politics. Just as the Nile created Egypt, the two rivers created Mesopotamia and the Mediterranian Sea created the Roman Empire, so the rivers created China. The book contains the historial information that is needed when assessing the views of modern China by such authors as Michael Pilsbury, Peter Zeihan and




Chapter 1 - The Great Rivers: Yangtze and Yellow - The axes of China's Geography


Chapter 2 - Out of Water: The Myths and origins of Ancient China


Chapter 3 - Finding the Way: Water as Source and Metaphor in Daoism and Confucianism


Chapter 4 - Channels of Power: How China's Waterways Shaped its Political Landscape


Chapter 5 - Voyages of Eunuch Admiral: How China Explored the World


Chapter 6 - Rise and Fall of the Hydraulic State


Chapter 7 - War on the Waters: Rivers and Lakes as Sites and Instruments of Conflict

In this chapter the author describes the famous Battle of the Red Cliffs that sealed the fate of the Han Dynasty and opened the era of the Warring states - the Three Kingdoms Period


Chapter 8 - Mao's Dams: The Technocratic Vision of a New China


Chapter 9 - The Fluid Art of Expression: How Water Influses Chinese Painting and Literature


Chapter 10 - Water and China's Future: Threats, promises and a new Dialogue

{short description of image}

Karl Witfogel - Oriental Despotism

{short description of image}

Peter Zeihan - The Accidental Super power

{short description of image}

Peter Zeihan - the Absent Super power

{short description of image}

Martin Katsa - The Colder War

{short description of image}

Kwasi Kwarteng - War and Gold

{short description of image}

Michael Pillsbury - The Hundred Year Marathon

{short description of image}    
{short description of image}    
{short description of image}    

Return to Xenophon.