|From the first chapter, The
Wobbling Pivot establishes the vitality of communities, and the dependence of the state upon local coherence, as its
theme. The image of China as monolithic and traditionally under the rule of a feared, respected and centralized state is
challenged by a historical narrative of the necessary friction between state and society, which has generated peace and
prosperity in some periods, and devastating, deforming conflicts in others.
While the book is built around a
coherent theme for a general reader, it is equipped with thematic essays and maps that make it easily adaptable to the
classroom. Recently, the author has extended the book across media, with an interactive desktop module for easy review
and acquisition of additional maps, timelines, outlines, and discussion --both of the development of The Wobbling
Pivot as a text, and of the problems of teaching modern Chinese history today.
Praise for The Wobbling Pivot
"The book is organized around a singular perception of modern Chinese history, but it offers a thorough and engaging narrative that provides the detail necessary for teaching and learning. It is accessible, complete and readable,. As a synthesis of twentieth century Chinese history it is both original and provocative, and a valuable introduction to the perennial issues that China poses in the undergraduate classroom."
R. Kent Guy in The China Quarterly
"Crossley has produced a lively and innovative introduction to the most recent centuries of
Chinese history, one that promises to serve as a stimulant rather than a soporific to beginning students and which,
through the bold interpretations that it ventures, should also spark the interest of advanced students and scholars. If I
were still teaching, I would look forward to using this
Paul Cohen in The China Journal
"...an excellent and illuminating introduction to the history of the
Peter Wood in Asian Review of Books
"...[a milestone] on the path toward new ways of constructing a history of China that doesn't rely upon the assumption of an increasingly homogenous 'modern' world compelled by the overwhelming power of economic and political forces capable of rendering every state in the world in the image of the celebrated West."
Maura Dykstra at The China Beat