An innovative approach to early Chinese history, now updated and expanded up to 1800.
The Open Empire takes an integrative, thematic approach to early Chinese history, using the concept of the "open empire" to highlight the dynamic, porous nature of China's past. Hansen builds her chronological narrative on a rich variety of archeological and literary sources to flesh out the details of daily life, family relations, and social hierarchies.
In the Second Edition, the narrative has been updated with findings from recent scholarship and streamlined throughout to highlight the main themes. A new chapter on the Qing Empire, 1600–1800, carries the story of the "open empire" up to the birth of modern China.