Berkshire Essentials

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The “Berkshire Essentials” series are collections of concentrated content, inspired by requests from teachers who praise the encyclopedic approach of Berkshire’s reference works but crave focused volumes for course use. Each book in the Essentials series draws from Berkshire publications on a big topic: world history, Chinese studies, or environmental sustainability. Books in the Berkshire Essentials series can be purchased alone, in any combination, or as a set.

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    Art and Literature in China, a Berkshire Essential, provides an overview of China's rich artistic and literary traditions from ancient times to the twenty-first century: from sculptures, paintings, and calligraphy to applied arts and architectural highlights like the Great Wall, and from traditional poetry to modern-day cinema. In these articles, art historians and literary scholars explore how Chinese art and literature has evolved into a diverse and dynamic field drawing from indigenous traditions and extensive contact with other cultures.
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    Combining the rule of the Chinese Communist Party with an economy spurred to emulate free-market capitalism, the modern Chinese state is alternatively described as a leviathan of opposing forces or a unique amalgam of modern-day governance. Governance and Politics in China, a Berkshire Essential, is designed to educate readers about modern politics and economic policies as well as to explore the historic movements and key events that have driven Chinese rulers to embrace its current state of affairs.
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    Philosophy and Religion in China, a Berkshire Essential, introduces the reader to the philosophical and religious traditions that have shaped Chinese culture from ancient to modern times. Articles in the volume explore a wide range of thought and belief systems, from Confucianism and the role of philosophy in governance to folk religions and household deities. In-depth articles, all written for the nonexpert reader, examine key concepts including filial piety and divination, influential figures such as Laozi and the Dalai Lama, and philosophical works including the Analects and I Ching.
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    Fundamentals of Chinese History and Culture, a Berkshire Essential, provides an overview of a wide range of cultural aspects that can be encountered, and are celebrated, in China today. From national holidays to favorite foods, and from fireworks to filial piety, this volume serves as a general introduction to China's long history and fascinating modern-day culture.
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    Women’s and Gender History, a Berkshire Essential, provides a look at women's lives and the importance of gender in societies across cultures and time.
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    Asian Cuisines: Food Culture and History of Asia from Japan and China to Afghanistan and Turkey (A Berkshire Essential) is a compilation of expert-written articles on national and regional cuisines as well as agriculture, important foodstuffs, and social and economic issues throughout the world's largest and most diverse continent.
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    Religion and Sustainability, a Berkshire Essential, explores the ties between humans and their environment across a wide range of perspectives: from Buddhism, Bahai, Hinduism, and Daoism to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as well as those of indigenous traditions around the world.
  • Natural Resources for Sustainability, a Berkshire Essential, includes thirty-two articles covering the nature, extraction, and uses of today’s most important natural resources, concerns, and management approaches.
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    Finance and Investment for Sustainability, a Berkshire Essential, explores how a green economy can be created and sustained - using sustainability in both the environmental and financial sense of the word.
  • The Internet in China, a Berkshire Essential, provides much-needed context and historical background for the technological development that is transforming Chinese society and creating new conflicts and new opportunities.
  • Business Strategies and Management for Sustainability, a Berkshire Essential, explores how a green economy can be created and sustained. Articles cover a wide variety of topics including “greenwashing,” local economies, and corporate social responsibility.
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