The Perilous Frontier Book À 325 pages Download » Johnscyclingdiary

Book Ú Nomadic Empires and China Ê Thomas J. Barfield

Book Ú Nomadic Empires and China Ê Thomas J. Barfield Bes as barbaric is seriously to underestimate their complexity and underlying social stability He argues that their relationship with the Chinese was as much symbiotic as parasitic and that they understood their dependence on a strong and settled Chinese state He makes sense of the apparently random rise and fall of these mysterious obscure and fascinating nomad confederacies Barfield reads Inner Asian history through the lens of political anthropology of steppe societies This allows for fascinating theories about Chinese steppe interactions Rather than present a simplistic steppe and sown narrative Barfield reveals two types of steppe strategies against China outer and inner frontier policies and shows how Manchurian groups diverged drastically from either Chinese or steppe political formations Manchurian groups Manchu Khitan Jurchen among others were able to use a system of dual administration and shrewd political maneuvering to both directly rule Chinese subjects and pacify or divide the steppe Barfield has been accused for forcing history to meet his theory He appears to be making a great deal of interpretation here And he mostly seem to rely on the official Dynastic histories of China that have been translated into English So he basically takes his fieldwork experience among Afghan pastoralists and tries to imagine what 2000 years of tribes may have been thinking I would find this extremely difficult to by if the final book didn't read so plausibly So I still like it with reservations

Ebook The Perilous Frontier

The Perilous Frontier Book À 325 pages Download » Johnscyclingdiary ´ ❰Ebook❯ ➤ The Perilous Frontier: Nomadic Empires and China (Studies in Social Discontinuity) Author Thomas J. Barfield – Around 800 BC the Eurasian steppe underwent a profound cult Around 800 BC the Eurasian steppe underwent a profound cultural transformation that was to shape world history for the next 2500 years the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Asia invented cavalry which with the use of the compound bow gave them the means to terrorize first their neighbors and ultimately under Chingis Khan and his descendants the whole of Asia and Europe Why and how th A detailed yet enjoyable history of the relations between China and her nomadic neighbors to the north a theme that runs like a red thread through pre modern Chinese and Inner Asian history While these barbarians would occasionally conuer China what they really preferred was to carry out a few raids on Chinese territory and then coerce the Chinese government into paying tribute in money and gifts up to and including Imperial princesses or granting the nomads trading privileges on or near the frontier These nomads were the culture that invented cavalry since riding and shooting were part of the nomadic skill set so it was difficult and very expensive for the larger and slower Chinese armies to catch and defeat the nomads who could simply move out of the way Hence the two cultures mostly coexisted aside from an occasional Mongol or Manchu conuest and dynasty Professor Barfield covers this historically long and geographically vast story with aplomb even including some entertaining stories to season the broth

Thomas J. Barfield Ê Studies in Social Discontinuity Book

The Perilous Frontier Nomadic Empires and China Studies in Social DiscontinuityEy did so and to what effect are the themes of this history of the nomadic tribes of Inner Asia the Mongols Turks Uighurs and others collectively dubbed the Barbarians by the Chinese and the Europeans This two thousand year history of the nomadic tribes is drawn from a wide range of sources and told with unprecedented clarity and pace The author shows that to describe the tri This was definitely one of those books I had been meaning to read for a long time but just never got around to Every book that I've read on Inner Asia that's come out since The Perilous Frontier has cited itBy and large the book is definitely worth your time Not only is it educational but its scope is immense The author surveys the entirety of China's northern frontier diplomacy from the birth of Chinese civilization until the birth of the Manchu Chi'ing dynasty and the fall of Zhungaria Barfield was originally an ethnographer working on nomadic tribes in Afghanistan As such one can expect him to be conversant in the relationships between these pastoral tribes and their sedentary neighbors The book demonstrates Barfield's success in stringing together a cogent narrative and a workable framework for understanding relations between China and its northern neighbors His paradigm of a parasitic nomadic empire co evolving with a powerful Chinese state is convincing Yet what is most amazing about this work is that despite his background Barfield was apparently not trained to read Chinese and sites few Persian primary sources translated or not The book demonstrates that a historian can rely on translations and secondary sources to form broad coherent theories of a region that is not their specialty In that sense this work is both highly engaging and very inspiring The sheer wealth of information its synthetic nature and the scope of the work make it a valuable reference for students of this regionUnfortunately the work is not without its faults These are primarily stylistic Barfield's prose has a monotone rhythm to it and at times his paragraphs read like time tables Moreover while one can get the jist of his argument in any given section of the book he peppers his writing with at best unfriendly and at worst vacuous statements For instance The reasons for the intense sinification of the Jurchen are complex but the growth of Chinese influence was intimately connected to their political development There are many sentences like these which lead the reader in one direction and all of a suddent ask them to start thinking about a new concept These could have used the help of an editor One also gets the impressions that Barfield's monotonic prose stems from an editor or himself chopping up what were originally long sentences At other times Barfield tries to cram too many ideas into his sentences which reuire freuent re reading However he also places periods at awkward points The combined effect of all of this was that it took me about three and a half weeks to get through his book despite it being only 300 pages longStill don't let these detractions scare you away from it This work is destined to be a classic Defintely worth your time Four thumbs up