Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Too often, the story of China is truncated or elongated. Depending on who you ask, it might begin 5,000 years ago, or in 1949, with the Communist victory, or in 1978, with Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms and China’s rise (or return) to pre-eminence. While the thread from dynastial China to the People’s Republic has not been a continuous one (see The Invention of China below), there is still much to glean from China’s deeper history that is relevant to its latest incarnation. It is useful, in other words, to know the nation’s long past in order to better understand its complex present — not least because its leaders think that way too. Our top pick this month is a work of history that tells the whole China story, from earliest times to present-day, in an accessible and not overly long way. Together with the other recent releases, it might just inspire some last minute Christmas shopping. The One to Read The Story of China: The Epic History of a World Subscribe or register to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.