The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China (Google eBook)

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University of California Press, May 18, 1998 - History - 345 pages
5 Reviews
The Ming dynasty was the last great Chinese dynasty before the Manchu conquest in 1644. During that time, China, not Europe, was the center of the world: the European voyages of exploration were searching not just for new lands but also for new trade routes to the Far East. In this book, Timothy Brook eloquently narrates the changing landscape of life over the three centuries of the Ming (1368-1644), when China was transformed from a closely administered agrarian realm into a place of commercial profits and intense competition for status.

The Confusions of Pleasure marks a significant departure from the conventional ways in which Chinese history has been written. Rather than recounting the Ming dynasty in a series of political events and philosophical achievements, it narrates this longue durée in terms of the habits and strains of everyday life. Peppered with stories of real people and their negotiations of a rapidly changing world, this book provides a new way of seeing the Ming dynasty that not only contributes to the scholarly understanding of the period but also provides an entertaining and accessible introduction to Chinese history for anyone.
  

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Review: The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China

User Review  - Alex - Goodreads

Judkins' rec for China books Read full review

Review: The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China

User Review  - Sean Mccarrey - Goodreads

Since this book aimed to cover the social and cultural history of the Ming Empire, it was a bit broad. However, I thought it brought up very interesting struggles within Ming society concerning ... Read full review

Contents

Dramatis Personae
15
The Middle Century 14501550
86
The Last Century 15501644
153
The Lord of Silver 16421644
238

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About the author (1998)

Timothy Brook is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Praying for Power: Buddhism and the Formation of Gentry Society in Late-Ming China (1993), and Quelling the People: The Military Suppression of the Beijing Democracy Movement (1992), and the coeditor of Nation Work: Asian Elites and National Identities (1999) and China and Historical Capitalism: Genealogies of Sinological Knowledge (1999).

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