Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Review of The 'Awakening' of China: Western Concepts of China in the Early 20th Century by Edwin Poon

This review is written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = History, Empires

Short Description

Elaborate Description

During the early 20th century, China had many comparative weaknesses such as in politics and military.  Nevertheless, there were groups that claimed that China was ‘awakening’, who saw China’s potential.  The message was delivered to foreign groups who had an incentive to propagate such a view.  To draw support to their cause.  The terminology of ‘awakening’ as an antithesis to ‘asleep’.  China had a lot of potential that was seen as inefficiently utilized such as a large military, consumer market, and religious converts.  America seemed to want to help China in order to be China’s ally, without territorial interests.  All this during a time of Western anti-Chinese sentiment, and groups in China who were against foreigners.  

A generally good introduction to foreign political relations.  Seeing how different nations saw one another.  As this is a short book, it misses many details.  As in, a lot of history is given a very brief account of.  To understand the issues would require more historic understanding.  


Questions to Consider while Reading the Book
•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•Why was China seen as ‘asleep’?
•Why propagate China as ’awakening’?
•How did foreigners see China?
•How did Chinese see foreigners?
•What were China’s comparative weaknesses?
•Where was China’s potential?


Book Details
Edition ISBN:  2940154415436
Pages to read:   32
Publication:     2016
1st Edition:      2016
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    4
Content          3
Overall           3