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
Notes; Bibliography; Glossary; Index
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