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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 5: Historical Writing Since 1945$
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Axel Schneider and Daniel Woolf

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199225996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199225996.001.0001

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Chinese Historical Writing since 1949

Chinese Historical Writing since 1949

(p.615) Chapter 30 Chinese Historical Writing since 1949
The Oxford History of Historical Writing

Susanne Weigelin‐Schwiedrzik

Oxford University Press

This chapter studies how in China—divided by civil war into mainland China and Taiwan—two opposing political camps instrumentalized the writing of history for political purposes. With the beginning of the end of the Cold War in East Asia around 1975–6, the writing of history on both sides of the Taiwan Straits underwent major changes. In Taiwan, questions of national identity became increasingly important, and it is no surprise that Taiwanese history grew in popularity. On the mainland, academic history-writing became gradually marginalized in the wake of a thorough commercialization of the historical field. The dominant discourse now turned anti-revolutionary, leaving the Communist Party in a difficult position as it faced the paradox that its legitimacy depended on the very revolutionary discourse now being attacked by a reformist paradigm that it needed to adopt in order to modernize the country.

Keywords:   Chinese historical writing, Chinese historiography, China, Taiwan, national identity, Taiwanese history, commercialization, Communist Party, revolutionary discourse, reformist paradigm

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