Scholarly Books Educate Readers on China's History and Culture

New "Books for Understanding" List Offers Bibliography on Ancient Through Modern China

August 8, 2008: As the torch is ignited to begin the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Chinaʼs controversial policies have drawn interest in the country beyond its role as host of the games. In an effort to help readers educate themselves about Chinaʼs history, culture, and role on the international stage, the Association of American University Presses has published a bibliography of essential scholarship through its Books for Understanding public web site.

The substantial bibliography includes such titles as:

Two Kinds of Truth: Stories and Reportage from China, by Liu Binyan, edited by Perry Link (Indiana University Press, 2007): a valuable collection of essays and journalism by a writer exiled for his views.

The Great Ming Code / Da Ming lu, translated by Jiang Yonglin (University of Washington Press, 2004): the first English translation of Imperial Chinaʼs legal codes from the Ming Dynasty, which influenced the nationʼs development as well as that of surrounding countries.

Some Assembly Required: Work, Community, and Politics in Chinaʼs Rural Enterprises, by Calvin Chen (Harvard University Press, 2008): an in-depth look at Chinaʼs rural initiatives and the changing structure of labor relationships in the face of industrialization.

Wong Kar-Wai, by Peter Brunette (University of Illinois Press, 2005): a comprehensive study of the legendary Hong Kong filmmakerʼs cinematic techniques and influences.

Books for Understanding ( is a free public service of AAUP to help librarians, journalists, educators, and interested readers find the best books on current events. The program highlights one of the highest values of university presses: to publish top research and scholarship in all fields regardless of immediate commercial potential. Often the most complete and illuminating background research and knowledge for a breaking news story is only available in scholarly books from presses committed to the public interest.

The Association of American University Presses ( is the worldʼs largest organization of nonprofit scholarly publishers. AAUP is dedicated to the support of creative and effective scholarly communications. Through its programs and information resources, AAUP helps its members fulfill their common commitments to scholarship, the academy, and society.

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