- How much, how quickly, and in what ways, can a country change to become and remain competitive and stable?
- Is there a point at which changes are too great, and the national identity is lost, compromising the efforts?
- Which of China’s traditions had to change?
- China’s “century of humiliation” and the rise of nationalism
- Chinese writing and language, and calls for reform
- Changing role of women
- Education, from the examination system to western influence
- Urban transformation and preservation
Skills and Processes:
- Distinguishing between legitimate problems and temporary concerns
- Balancing Western and Chinese perspectives
- Identifying problems and limitations in authors’ arguments
- Assessing relative merits of works of history and reportage
- China: A New History by John King Fairbank
- China Road by Rob Gifford
- Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler
- Understanding China by John Bryan Starr
- Wild Grass by Ian Johnson