The Great Wall of China is renowned as one of the most impressive and intriguing man-made structures on earth. It is also the subject of an awesome mythology, embedded in both learned and popular imaginations, which has grown up and now obscured the historical record. Even the maps which chart the Wall`s position offer erroneous accounts of a phenomenon which has never been accurately surveyed. Arthur Waldron reveals that the notion of an ancient and continuously existing Great Wall, one of modern China`s national symbols and a legend in the eyes of the West, is in fact a myth.
List of illustrations
Note on romanization
1. Introduction: what is the Great Wall of China?
Part I. First Considerations: 2. Early Chinese walls
3. Strategic origins of Chinese walls
Part II. The Making of the Great Wall: 4. Geography and strategy: the importance of the Ordos
5. Security without walls: early Ming strategy and its collapse
6. Toward a new strategy: the Ordos crisis and the first walls
7. Politics and military policy at the turn of the sixteenth century
8. The second debate over the Ordos
9. The heyday of wall-building
Part III. The Significance of Wall-Building: 10. The Great Wall and foreign policy: the problem of compromise
11. The Wall acquires new meanings
Chinese and Japanese materials