Professor of Modern Chinese History
I still don't have a very good answer as to why studying Chinese history has become my life passion. When I decided to learn Chinese in high school, I knew little about China, the Chinese language, or the country’s history. But somehow I have never been tempted to do something else. Part of the reason is because the path on which this one unconsidered decision put me opened up all kinds of great opportunities: long periods in China and Taiwan, study with some wonderful teachers, and some ten years in the US where I met my wife and made many good friends. But also, Chinese history has always proved fascinating. I am at my happiest sitting in an archive or library in China, travelling through the country trying to learn more about a place important in my research, or talking about Chinese history with colleagues and friends at a university in China. And there is something very special to see former students build up lives centred around in China.
Following my undergraduate studies in Sinology at Leiden University, I went to Harvard University to study modern Chinese history. Seven years later I had a Ph.D. and went to UC Berkeley as a Postdoctoral Fellow. The rest of my career has been spent at Cambridge University. My first book on the early history of the CCP was awarded the Philip Lilienthal Prize of the University of California Press for best first book in Asian Studies. Like all academics, I have enjoyed my sabbaticals. A British Academy Research Readership made it possible for me to spend three years away from teaching. One of these I spent as a Visiting Scholar at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan. More recently I have been a Fellow for a year at the Johns Hopkins – Nanjing University Center for US-China Cultural Exchange. I am also a Guest Professor at the Department of History of Nanjing University.
History of the Chinese Communist Party before 1949; the history of warfare in modern China from the Taiping Rebellion to the Civil War between the Communists and the Nationalists; the history of Chinese globalization in the 1850-1950 period.
Currently I am working on a book about the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, which managed much of China’s waterborne traffic between 1850 and 1950 and helped build such modern cities as Shanghai. I am also one of the editors of the Cambridge History of Modern Warfare.
|‘The Sino-Japanese War in the Context of Chinese Military History’ and (with Ed Drea) ‘An Overview of the Military Campaigns of the Sino-Japanese War’ and ‘Chronology’ in Mark Peattie, Edward Drea, and Hans van de Ven, eds, The Battle for China: Essays on the History of the Sino-Japanese War. (in press)|
|2003||War and Nationalism in China (London: Routledge, 2003). Single author monograph. Translation in Chinese published by Sanlian.|
|2000||Warfare in Chinese History, Hans van de Ven, ed, (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers). Author of 'Introduction' (pp.1-33) and 'New States of War: Communist and Nationalist Warfare and State Building, 1928-1934' (pp.321-98)|
|1994||New Perspectives on the Chinese Communist Revolution, Tony Saich and Hans van de Ven, eds, (Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 1994). Author of 'Introduction' (pp.XIII-XXI) and 'The Power of Words: the Emergence of the Text-Centered Party' (pp.5-33). Hardback and paperback.|
From Friend to Comrade: the Founding of the Chinese Communist Party (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991). Single author monograph.
|2006||‘Robert Hart and the Chinese Maritime Customs Service’, special issue of Modern Asian Studies, vol. 40:3 (July 2006). Introduction (pp.545-7) and ‘Robert Hart and Gustav Detring during the Boxer Rebellion’ (pp.631-663)|
|2001||'Lifting the Veil of Secrecy: Secret Services in China during World War II', Intelligence and National Security, 16:4 (Winter 2001), author of 'Introduction' (pp.1-10) and 'The Kuomintang's Secret Service in Action in South China: Operational and Political Aspects of the Arrest of Liao Chengzhi (1942)', pp.205-37|
|1996||‘War in the Making of Modern China’ in Modern Asian Studies, vol.30:4. Author of 'Introduction' (pp.737-56) and 'Public Finance and the Rise of Warlordism' (pp.829-68)|
|2005-2007||Co-editor (with Professor Robert Bickers), China and the West: The Maritime Customs Service Archive from the Second Historical Archives of China, Nanjing, (London: Thomson Gale). The first 300 reels of this 350 reel collection of primary sources drawn from the archives of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service have been published.|
|2010||'War, Cosmopolitanism, and Authority: Mao from 1937 to 1956', in Timothy Creek, ed, A Critical Introduction to Mao Zedong, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010.|
|2010||The Battle for China, eds Mark peattie, Edward Drea and Hans van de Ven, author of 'Overview of the War' (with Edward Drea), 'Chronology' (with Edward Drea), and 'The Sino-Japanese War in History', Palo Alte, Stanford University Press, 2010, pp. 7-26, 27-47, and 446-465.|
|2010||‘Bombing, Japanese Pan-Asianism, and Chinese Nationalism’, Antony Best, ed, The International Relations of East Asia, 1900-1968 (London: Routledge)|
|2006||‘The Sino-Japanese War from the Perspective of Chinese Military History’ in Sumio Hatano and Ryoichi Tobe, eds, The Military History of the Sino-Japanese War (Tokyo). Translated into Japanese.|
|2004||‘Globalizing Chinese History’. History Compass 2 (1), **-**. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2004.00075.x ‘Globalizing Chinese History’, http://www.history-compass.com|
|2003||'Stilwell in the Stocks: The Chinese Nationalists and the Allied Powers in the Second World War', Journal of Asian Affairs (November 2003), pp.243-60|
|2003||‘Hoe is suicide te voorkomen?’ (met Age Niels Holstein), in PsychoPraxis VI:2, pp.42-46|
|2003||'Military Mobilisation in China, 1840-1949', in Jeremy Black, ed, War in the Modern World Since 1815 (London, Routledge), pp.20-41|
|2002||'The onrush of modern globalisation in China', in A.G. Hopkins, ed, Globalization in World History (Pimlico), pp.167-194|
|2000||'The Maritime Customs Service Project', in Bulletin of the British Association of Chinese Studies (2 pages).|
|2000||'Some Historical Perspectives on the Diplomacy of Chinese Nationalism', in Issues and Studies, 36:6 (November/December 2000), pp.52-79|
|2000||'Was Western support of Nationalist China a waste of resources and effort?', in Benjamin Frankel, Dennis Showalter, and Robert Allison, eds, History in Dispute: World War II (History in Dispute, vol. 4), (Columbia, St James Press, 2000). 7pp|
|1999||'Military and Financial Reform in the Late Qing and Early Republic', in Lin Man-hoang, ed, Finance and Modern History (Taipei: Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica), pp.17-105
'Thomas Wade', in New Dictionary of National Biography
|1998||'Public Finance and the Rise of Warlordism', in Minguo Yanjiu (Nanjing University), vol.1 (1994), pp.89-137 and vol.4 (1998), pp.64-84. Extended Chinese version of article in special issue on warfare in modern Chinese history in Modern Asian Studies|
|1997||'The Military in the Republic', in The China Quarterly, vol. 150, June 1997. Reprinted as book by Oxford University Press. My essay was further reprinted in K. Swope, Warfare in China since 1600 in International Library of Essays in Military History, Ashgate, 2005|
|1996||Entries on Mao Zedong, Zhu De, and Lin Biao, in Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker, The Reader's Companion to Military History (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company)|
|1996||'Recent Studies of Modern Chinese History' in Modern Asian Studies, vol.30:2, pp.225-69|
|1994||Four entries in Edwin Leung, ed, Historical Dictionary of the Chinese Revolution, (Westport: Greenwood Press)|
|1990||'Dangbao: the CCP's First Internal Publication' in CCP Research Newsletter, vol.5, spring 1990, pp.8-17|
|1990||'Konfuzianismus und Kommunismus aus einer Neuen Perspektive' in Silke Krieger and Rolf Trauzettel, eds, Konfuzianismus und die Modernisierung Chinas (Mainz: v. Hase und Koehler Verlag)|
|1988||'New Sources for the 1920s' in CCP Research Newsletter, vol.1 (Fall 1988), pp.21-28|
|1982||‘A Scholar Turns Official: Zhang Jiuling, the Bureaucracy, and the Emperor’, Stone Lion Review, IX, pp.29-40|