Yuan Shikai (1859–1916) has been hailed as China’s George Washington for his role in the country’s transition from empire to republic. Yet Yuan Shikai: A Reappraisal sheds new light on the equally controversial history of this talented administrator and modernizer who endeavoured to establish a new dynasty while serving as the first president of the republic. Since his death during the civil war his actions provoked, he has been condemned as a counterrevolutionary. Drawing on untapped primary sources and recent scholarship, Patrick Fuliang Shan offers a lucid, comprehensive, and critical new interpretation of Yuan’s part in shaping modern China.
Patrick Fuliang Shan is a professor of history at Grand Valley State University, where he teaches Chinese history, East Asian history, and world history. He was president of the Chinese Historians in the United States from 2009 to 2011, a board member of the Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China from 2010 to 2014, and the coordinator of the East Asian Studies Program at Grand Valley State University from 2013 to 2016.