This first major comprehensive study of Yuan Shikai in more than half a century explores the controversial life of one of the most important figures in China’s transition from empire to republic.
This book is the most detailed and refreshing account of Yuan Shikai ever published. Drawing on a wide array of source materials, it sheds new light on political changes in the formative era of the modern Chinese state. - Huaiyin Li, professor, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin
Patrick Fuliang Shan’s balanced, comprehensive, and analytical study of Yuan Shikai presents a complete portrait of this bewilderingly controversial leader. - Xiaobing Li, professor, Department of History, University of Central Oklahoma
Shan provide readers with a powerful and mostly convincing reappraisal of Yuan based on both primary sources with due attention to traditional and revisionist scholarship. It will surely be a significant addition to the study of Yuan Shikai as well as modern China in the years to come.- Qiang Fang, professor of East Asian History, University of Minnesota Duluth, China Review International, Vol. 24, No. 2
Shan’s excellent biography—the first in English since 1961—challenges us to think critically about our preconceptions, and the way in which prevailing historical narratives emerge, rejecting those appealing but ultimately unhelpful binary characterizations which too often blight the telling of China’s recent past. - Jonathan Chatwin, author of Long Peace Street: A walk in modern China, the Asian Review of Books
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