The Age of Openness

The era between empire and communism is routinely portrayed as a catastrophic interlude in China's modern history. But in The Age of Openness: China before Mao, Frank Dikötter shows that the first half of the twentieth century was characterized by unprecedented openness. He argues that from 1900 to 1949, all levels of Chinese society were seeking engagement with the rest of the world and that pursuit of openness was particularly evident in four areas: governance, including advances in liberties and the rule of law; greater freedom of movement within the country and outside it; the spirited exchange of ideas in the humanities and sciences; and thriving and open markets and the resulting sustained growth in the economy.

Berkeley: University of Chicago Press, 2008

Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2008