Elizabeth Larus, professor of political science and international affairs, recently released her book, “Politics and Society in Contemporary China.”
Larus stated that she intends to use the book in undergraduate courses on politics in China. The book is comprehensive and includes information ranging from China’s dynasties to modern politics.
The project took Larus four years, but she called it an enjoyable experience.
The book begins like a travel diary, chronicling Larus’ own experiences in China and then connects her personal experiences to larger themes.
“I wanted to give students a complete picture of China,” said Larus. “I had no negative agenda, but I wanted to include things students need to know–warts and all.”
According to Larus, the book includes information about Tiananmen Square, human rights violations, the recent SARS outbreak and the consequences of the one-child policy.
Many scholars that have connections to China are careful to treat these events with sensitivity and Larus believes her book fills in those information gaps found in many textbooks.
“I wanted to include the information about Tiananmen Square, really, for all the people who were killed, to give them a voice. It is also important for American students to know about,” said Larus.
Larus also said that China has done incredible things since the 1980s, when her interest in China began. Examples she gave included bringing 100 million people out of poverty and becoming the world’s second largest economy.
Larus also includes fun and interesting facts in her book, which she hopes will entertain students.
“Politics and Society of Contemporary China” is now available at the UMW bookstore priced at $75 for hardcover and $32.50 for paperback.