Distinguished Historian, Author of Books on Chinese History Dies at 83

Historians in the News
tags: obituary, Philip Kuhn

British-born American historian on Chinese history Philip Kuhn died on Monday, Feb. 15, at the age of 83, China Daily reported.

Sinologist and Chinese history professor Hilde De Weerdt and Cambridge history professor Hans van de Ven confirmed Kuhn's death.

"RIP Philip Kuhn, author of excellent books on Chinese history: Rebellion & Its Enemies; Soulstealers; Origins of the Modern Chinese State," writes Weerdt on his Twitter account at 5:40 p.m. Beijing time on Monday, Feb. 15.

Born in 1933 in London, Kuhn went to the U.S. where he attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. He earned his A.B. at Harvard University and went to Georgetown University for graduate studies in 1957. He returned to Harvard for his doctorate in History and East Asian Languages under the supervision of John King Fairbank, a notable historian of China.

Kuhn deviated from Fairbank's "shock-response," which argues that Western society's impact on China changes Chinese society fundamentally. Instead, Kuhn suggested that one should examine the history of China to explain its transformation, which gave a new and unconventional view in the study of Chinese history. ...

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