Jonathan Fenby

The Penguin History of Modern China
  • The Penguin History of Modern China

  • In 1850, China was the 'sick man of Asia'. Now it is set to become the most powerful nation on earth. The Penguin History of Modern China shows how turbulent that journey has been. For 150 years China has endured as victim of oppression, war and famine. This makes its current position as arguably the most important global superpower all the more extraordinary. Jonathan Fenby's comprehensive account is the definitive guide to this remarkable transformation.

    'His book is a miracle of thoroughness, truthfulness and readability - the perfect primer for a time when China is about to enter all our lives' Sunday Telegraph

    'Jonathan Fenby's ... illuminating book [is] the first major history that looks at the country with the eyes of the 21st century rather than the 20th' Rana Mitter, Financial Times

    'Reads like a novel and is never less than thoughtful and compassionate for the fate of a much-abused people ... [Fenby has] a journalist's eye for telling detail' Herald

    'Taut, anecdote-studded ... a great introduction for a general audience, with vivid scene setting and character sketches' Michel Sheridan, Sunday Times

    'For an accessible, authoritative, fair and comprehensive and well written account, this would be hard to better' BBC History

    'A wonderful history of modern China and a cracking good read' Chris Patten


    Jonathan Fenby, CBE, has been the editor of the Observer and the South China Morning Post. His books include Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the China He Lost and Dealing with the Dragon: A Year in the New Hong Kong. He is currently Editor-in-Chief and China Editor of the analytical service, Trusted Sources.

Jonathan Fenby has edited the Observer, the South China Morning Post and Reuters World Serve as well as holding senior positions at the Economist, Independent and Guardian.

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