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writing a book on China

  • 1.  writing a book on China

    Posted 08-30-2020 10:12
    A historian co-author and I have written 3 books on known world globalization, the first MNEs and the first transcontinental in the Assyrian, Phoenician, Greek, Roman empires.  The best known is probably Birth of the Multinational: 2000 Years of Ancient Business History - From Ashur to Augustus.  David and I had an article about the first MNE in MIR, I did an article with Susan Reid on The birth of brand: 4000 years of branding in Business History, plus papers at the Academy a number of years.

    In all these works we talked about China as a central actor thru virtually all of known human history, you could argue that during part of Mao's time China withdrew, to some degree, behind the Bamboo Curtain. We are working on a new book using our material from the earlier books and journal articles on China.  We have tentatively called it China and The Nations, publisher love to title a book, so I am sure that change!  Here are the first few paragraphs which set up what we hope we done in this book:

    "This book is the fourth in a series on international business history. As such, it deals with two subjects: business and history. The first theme is of great interest to its billions of practitioners around the globe each day, whether the discriminating shopper at Wal-Mart or the corporate executive trying to beat the competition. 

    The other theme, history, may not be as appealing, at least not at first. Classroom experiences memorizing dates and events leave a bad taste with many. Failing the inevitable pop quiz also lingers in the psyche. Much deeper reasons for North American's aversion to history exist. Citizens of the  United States and Canada consider themselves part of the New World, as opposed to the Old. 

    Seeing themselves as heirs of the world's oldest continuous civilization, the  Chinese, more than most of the world, take history very seriously. Their view of their fairly central place in human development impacts their actions, policies, and worldview today. The Shang dynasty (1600-1027 BCE) coined the term "Zhong Guo", the Middle Kingdom. Here exists a self-concept that may be exaggerated but is just as significant as the maxim "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for Americans and  "True North strong and free" for Canadians. These all may be semi-mythical ideas, but all are part of each nation's memory bank and how they view themselves and their place in the world."

    I was wondering if there is anyone in this group knowledgeable of China that we might be able to run our arguments by and get their insights before we let it free on an unsuspecting world? 



    Karl Moore
    McGill University
    (514) 216-7839