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History professor editing encyclopedia of Chinese history

Publication to be the first to cover the country's history, culture and life from the ancient past to the present with predictions for the future

UMass Dartmouth history professor Dr. Linsun Cheng is responding to the rise of China by editing a groundbreaking multi-volume, multi-dimensional encyclopedia.

"China is getting hot and people want to know something about it," Cheng said of the need for the reference book expected to be released by Berkshire Publishing Group in July 2008. Although other works exist detailing aspects of China, Cheng said this encyclopedia is the first to cover the country's history, culture and life from the ancient past to the present with predictions about the future.

The encyclopedia is written in English by a team of experts including historians, political scientists, sociologists, economists, anthropologists, geographers, scientists, artists, educators and journalists.

Its unique features include its in-depth and interdisciplinary approach which Cheng feels will appeal to a diverse audience. "This encyclopedia is meant for any person-student, teacher, businessperson, tourist-anyone who wants to gain an understanding of China.  People in China understand America much more than the other way around. This encyclopedia will provide a way for Americans to learn about this emerging, populous and misunderstood nation."

China's political and economic relationships, military expansion, human and religious rights, arts and literature and popular culture are among the numerous topics explored. Maps, photographs, and timelines are included.

Cheng has taught at UMass Dartmouth for 13 years and also is an associate in research at Harvard University's Fairbank Center for East Asian Studies and a research professor at the Institute of Economics, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

In 2003, Cheng's book, Banking in Modern China-Entrepreneurs, Professional Managers and the Development of Chinese Banks was published by Cambridge University Press.  He has also written many other books, articles, biographies and book reviews both in English and Chinese for journals. In addition Cheng has contributed more than 100 dictionary entries to collections such as the Dictionary of Economics, Encyclopedia of Social Sciences and Dictionary of Demograph. He has also translated numerous articles from both English and Japanese into Chinese.

Cheng is currently the chief editor of Chinese Business History, an online academic journal and is editing a second book, Zhang Fuyun and Chinese Custom Services, that he anticipates will be published in a few years.
 

Author:  "John Hoey"
Date:  30-Jul-2007
Department:   College Of Arts And Sciences

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