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The Perilous Frontier

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Table of Contents

Editor's Preface. Preface. Acknowledgements. Notes on Transliterations. 1. Introduction: The Steppe Nomadic World. 2. The Steppe Tribes United: The Hsiung-nu Empire. 3. The Collapse of Central Order: The Rise of Foreign Dynasties. 4. The Turkish Empires and T'ang China. 5. The Manchurian Candidates. 6. The Mongol Empire. 7. Steppe Wolves and Forest Tigers: The Ming, Mongols and Manchus. 8. The Last of the Nomad Empires: The Ch'ing Incorporation of Mongolia and Zungharia. 9. Epilogue: On the Decline of the Mongols. Bibliography. Index.

About the Author

Thomas Barfield has written numerous articles and reviews on Inner Asia and Afghanistan and is the author of The Central Asian Arabs of Afghanistan.


"An excellent piece of work ... Barfield writes clearly, with a gratifyingly total absence of social scientific jargon ... his case is put with impressive cogency." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society "Barfield's significant and demanding book brings to a general audience a challenging new interpretation of relations between China and her northern neighbours ... provocative and persuasive ... Highly recommended." Choice "Barfield's study is rich and provocative." Graham E. Johnson, University of British Columbia "A welcome addition to the literature on the relations between Central Asian empires and China in premodern times. Thomas J. Barfield provides us with stimulating interpretations." American Historical Review "Excellent study of Chinese-nomadic relations. Weaves a fascinating and detailed tapestry. This excellent work awakens the reader to another level affected by the emerging world system in the nineteenth century." The International History Review "The appearance in paperback of this book is welcome. Breaking moulds." Asian Affairs "Fine study. A most welcome addition to the literature." Bulletin School of Oriental and African Studies

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