The extraordinary story of how, through its struggle to throw off the countless foreigners who sought to exploit or ruin it, China became the powerful country it is today.
Robert Bickers is the author of the highly-acclaimed Empire Made Me and The Scramble for China. He has written extensively on Chinese history and is a Professor of History at the University of Bristol.
Bickers... adopts a wide lens in capturing the diversity of
Sino-western interactions. Few nuances escape his eye... Out of
China demolishes many favourite motifs of official history in
China...Teeming with nuances while assailing the Communist party's
nationalistic narrative, Bickers' book is a reminder of the
importance of uncovering the past's messy, contradictory truths. --
Julian Gewirtz * Financial Times *
Eery schoolchild in China has heard of the sign at a park in colonial-era Shanghai that said: "Chinese and dogs not admitted." It is often cited as the kind of foreign arrogance that shamed a great civilisation into throwing off the yoke of imperialism, a struggle well told in this new book by Robert Bickers, our pre-eminent historian of the British in China...It is a pleasure to read the fruits of his mature scholarship as he revisits familiar ground, puncturing myths and putting British and Chinese views into reciprocal perspective. -- Michael Sheridan * The Sunday Times *
Robert Bickers is a pre-eminent chronicler of China... a great story told with splashes of colour and sharp wit -- Jonathan Fenby * Literary Review *
This detailed account valuably reconstructs the west's recent cultural malfeasance in China, and also challenges the simple, propaganda narrative that the CCP tells about its deliverance of China from Colonial aggressors -- Julia Lovell * Prospect *