China Beat at the AHA

Several China Beat contributors have just returned from the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, held this year in New York City from January 2-5. While there was normal association business aplenty (including presenting historical research, catching up with colleagues from other institutions, and for some of us hearing Eugenia Lean give a stimulating talk after the Conference on Asian History's luncheon, in which she explored the interplay between science and gender in the Republican period), the meeting also gave the editors of China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance a chance to sit down with Rowman & Littlefield editor Susan McEachern to chat about the book's final months of production.

Jeff Wasserstrom, Susan McEachern, Kate Merkel-Hess, and Ken Pomeranz

Meeting over breakfast, we talked about the final pieces still to finish (a highlight: Ken Pomeranz's "Afterword" that takes stock of the event-filled final months of 2008 and draws attention to some environmental issues that don't always get the attention they deserve) as well as more pragmatic issues like how to promote the book (we'll be flogging it in various locations and will give you plenty of heads up in advance, in case you'd like to join us at any signings and the like). It's rare for turn-around on a book to be quite this quick--we're planning a mid-March launch--but it certainly suits the timeliness of the blog format.

In the meantime, we've received a couple blurbs for China in 2008 that we want to share with you:

“Required reading for anyone trying to make sense of China’s tumultuous year. This is the literary equivalent of a rowdy dinner party attended by some of the best and brightest China journalists, scholars, and thinkers. It offers a breadth of opinion and depth of context available only to those with a well-thumbed Rolodex of China specialists. But the book is accessible to the ordinary reader, and it combines the up-to-the-minute excitement of a blog with quirky academic takes on history in the making.”
Louisa Lim, National Public Radio, Shanghai correspondent

“I’ve never been to China, but I’ve become a China-watcher thanks to the wonderful China Beat blog. This book is the best of that blog—and more. It’s a fascinating way to get under China’s skin.”
Mary Beard, University of Cambridge (a leading Classicist and the blogger responsible for "A Don's Life")

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