Yuan Shikai

9780774837781: Hardback
Release Date: 15th September 2018

9780774837811: EPUB
Release Date: 14th November 2018

9780774837804: PDF
Release Date: 15th September 2018

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 332

Series Contemporary Chinese Studies

UBC Press

Yuan Shikai

A Reappraisal

This first major comprehensive study of Yuan Shikai in more than half a century explores the controversial life of one of the most important figures in China’s transition from empire to republic.
Hardback / £34.00
EPUB / £40.00
PDF / £40.00

Yuan Shikai (1859–1916) has been both hailed as China’s George Washington for his role in the country’s transition from empire to republic and condemned as a counter-revolutionary. Yuan Shikai: A Reappraisal sheds new light on the controversial history of this talented administrator and modernizer who endeavoured to establish a new dynasty while serving as the first president of the republic, eventually declaring himself emperor. Drawing on untapped primary sources and recent scholarship, Patrick Fuliang Shan offers a lucid, comprehensive, and critical new interpretation of Yuan’s part in shaping modern China.


1 An Elite Clan

2 The Early Years

3 Imperial Commissioner in Korea

4 Training the First Modern Army

5 The Hundred Days

6 Governor of Shandong

7 Governor-General of Zhili and Imperial Minister

8 Dismissal and Reclusion

9 The 1911 Revolution

10 Provisional President

11 President

12 “Emperor”


Notes; Bibliography; Glossary; Index

Patrick Fuliang Shan is a professor of history at Grand Valley State University, where he teaches Chinese history, East Asian history, and world history. He was president of the Chinese Historians in the United States from 2009 to 2011, a board member of the Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China from 2010 to 2014, and the coordinator of the East Asian Studies Program at Grand Valley State University from 2013 to 2016.

This book is the most detailed and refreshing account of Yuan Shikai ever published. Drawing on a wide array of source materials, it sheds new light on political changes in the formative era of the modern Chinese state.

Huaiyin Li, professor, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin

Patrick Fuliang Shan’s balanced, comprehensive, and analytical study of Yuan Shikai presents a complete portrait of this bewilderingly controversial leader.

Xiaobing Li, professor, Department of History, University of Central Oklahoma

Shan provide readers with a powerful and mostly convincing reappraisal of Yuan based on both primary sources with due attention to traditional and revisionist scholarship. It will surely be a significant addition to the study of Yuan Shikai as well as modern China in the years to come.

Qiang Fang, professor of East Asian History, University of Minnesota Duluth
China Review International, Vol. 24, No. 2