John King Fairbank

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fairbank, John King


Born May 24, 1907, in Huron, S. D. American sinologist.

From 1936 to 1941, Fairbank was a professor at Harvard University; he returned to the university as a professor in 1946. A representative of the liberal school of American sinology, he has written several important monographs on modern and current Chinese history. After World War II, Fairbank helped reorganize the teaching of Oriental studies in the USA; as a result of this restructuring, primary emphasis came to be placed on the interdisciplinary and regional study of the East.


The United States and China, 3rd ed. Cambridge, 1971.
Trade and Diplomacy on the China Coast: The Opening of the Treaty Ports, 1842–1854, vols. 1–2. Cambridge, 1953–54.
China’s Response to the West: A Documentary Survey, 1839–1923. New York, 1963. (With Têng Ssu-yü.)
A History of East Asian Civilization, vols. 1–2. Boston [1960–65]. (With E. O. Reischauer.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Andrew Erickson of Harvard University's John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the US Naval War College's Chinese Maritime Studies Institute.
"Bernstein, a student of Harvard's John King Fairbank and a former New York Times reporter, covers China's political context in 1945 like a scholar, but maintains his journalist's eye for human drama.
(2) John King Fairbank's elaboration of the system, underscoring the restraining power of rituals and the universal preeminence of Chinese emperors, renders it one of the major theoretical frameworks through which to conceptualize China's foreign relations.
In 1948, the Harvard Sinologist John King Fairbank wrote, "China is a journalist's dream and a statistician's nightmare." It was, he explained, a place "with more human drama and fewer verifiable facts per square mile than anywhere else in the world." Sixty-five years later, much of Fairbank's description rings true, even as we find ourselves drawn even more urgently by the need to make sense of China's metamorphosis, its contradictions, and the growing role that it plays in our lives around the world.
However, I would be more tempted to recommend tried and tested works such as John King Fairbank's The Great Chinese Revolution, 1800-1985 (1987) and Jonathan D.
China: A New History (2nd edition) by John King Fairbank and Merle Goldman, 2006.
Suzanne Wilson Barnett and John King Fairbank (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ.
In 1968, as the Vietnam War raged, the eminent Harvard sinologist John King Fairbank told the annual meeting of the American Historical Association that its next great challenge was to explore American-East Asian relations.
In a sense, it was the logical next step after ransacking Harvard's libraries for information on Chinese medicine and studying under Harvard's John King Fairbank, known as "the dean of American Chinese scholars.
As John King Fairbank argued in 1974, despite Mao's revolution, China did not free itself from its hierarchical Confucianist past.
Wang Xi's article sets the stage for the debate by critiquing the "impact-response" approach of John King Fairbank and the "China centered" approach of Paul Cohen.
While acknowledging key tenets of the new cultural history of China--that Chinese culture has changed and does change and that it has shaped, not determined, individuals' behavior--Smith suggests that, in some cases, critiques of previous scholarship have gone too far, discarding valuable research, such as the work of John King Fairbank and others on the "tributary system" of foreign relations in imperial China.