This richly illustrated chronicle of Chinese civilization furnishes general readers and scholars alike with an authoritative overview of Chinese history, art and culture, from the pre-historic era to the early twentieth century, touching upon recurring themes and developments and synthesizing more than five thousand years of evolution and transition. Written with precision and flair by a host of leading academics from Beijing and Hong Kong, this single volume is a welcome addition to the study of world civilizations, a broad yet detailed chronological sweep through time. Every aspect of Chinese civilization is explained, interpreted, contextualized and brought to life with well-balanced commentary and photographic documentation. The result is a fascinating distillation of the past, an indispensable guide that renders the ancient past relevant to China today and to the rest of the world. Students of Chinese civilization will appreciate the detail of the research while lay readers, from business travelers to those interested in the general development of China, will return again and again to lean more about one of the world's great stories.