Jonathan Spence

British-born historian

1936   -   2021

country of citizenship: United States of America, United Kingdom
languages spoken, written or signed: English, Standard Mandarin
educated at: Winchester College, Clare College, University of Cambridge, Yale University
occupation: historian, university teacher, sinologist
award received: Guggenheim Fellowship, John Addison Porter Prize, MacArthur Fellows Program, Lionel Gelber Prize, Sterling Professor, Newberry Library Award, honorary doctor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Jonathan Dermot Spence (11 August 1936 – 25 December 2021) was an English-born American historian, sinologist, and writer who specialized in Chinese history. He was Sterling Professor of History at Yale University from 1993 to 2008. His most widely read book is The Search for Modern China, a survey of the last several hundred years of Chinese history based on his popular course at Yale. A prolific author, reviewer, and essayist, he published more than a dozen books on China. Spence's major interest was modern China, especially the Qing dynasty, and relations between China and the West. Spence frequently used biographies to examine cultural and political history. Another common theme is the efforts of both Westerners and Chinese "to change China", and how such efforts were frustrated.
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