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  • American Life (Forthcoming)

American Life (Forthcoming)

A History of America Through the Eyes of a Chinese Historian

Cho-yun Hsu・Translated by Carissa Fletcher


English , 2021/04 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: History, Biography

229 x 152 mm , 370pp ISBN : 978-988-237-210-8

  • US$60.00


Coming Soon

This work provides a striking analysis of the struggles faced by American society from an outsider’s perspective, outlining the failings which troubled the development of the young nation, as well as the problems which yet linger on the horizon, and vividly describing the decay within American social and political institutions.

The United States is the land where Cho-yun Hsu pursued his life’s work, as well as his window to observations of Western civilization; through his eyes, the nation is revealed as both a mighty empire and a grand social laboratory containing the seeds of prosperity and decline. 

In this memoir of his sixty-year sojourn in the United States, Professor Hsu offers keen insights through the lens of history and sociology, providing a comprehensive assessment of the social lineaments of the United States in different eras, as well as its substantive transformation in the period spanning from the founding of the nation to the present—from a young nation of lofty ideals, to the successor to Europe as global hegemon, and, more recently, an emerging regime of tyranny.

The work touches upon geography, culture, politics, economics, industrialization, class, ethnicity, the urban-rural divide, military affairs, the imperial enterprise and more in analyzing the origins of tension and conflict, antagonism and divisions between different classes and ethnic groups in American society, and seeks to offer a way forward from a humanistic perspective, in the hope that society may be continuously renewed through our collective efforts, and find a new path.


“This is a diagnostic report dissecting the ills of American society, or still more a moving epic brimming with pensive lament, as it vividly outlines how the American social and political system has moved step by step toward decline.”

— Yun-han Chu

Research fellow of the Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica

Cho-yun Hsu, an internationally recognized authority on Chinese history, is University Professor Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh. He earned his BA and MA from National Taiwan University and his PhD. from the University of Chicago. He has authored or coauthored numerous publications, including China: A New Cultural History (2012), Western Chou Civilization (1988), Han Agriculture: The Formation of the Early Chinese Agrarian Economy(1980), and Ancient China in Transition: An Analysis of Social Mobility (1965).

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