Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian

The Records of the Grand Historian (Taishi gong shu 太史公書, now usually known as the Shiji 史記 – "Historical Notes"), is a monumental history of ancient China and the world as it was known to the Chinese of the 2nd century BC, covering a 2500-year period from the age of the legendary Yellow Emperor to the reign of Emperor Wu of Han in the 2nd century BC. The work is traditionally said to have been begun by Sima Tan, the Grand Astrologer to the imperial court under Emperor Wu, but completed by his son Sima Qian, who is usually mentioned as the sole author. The Records is one of the oldest and most influential historical works in human history. Completed around 100 BC, the Records set the model for all of the 24 subsequent dynastic histories of China. Unlike Western historical works, the Records do not treat history as "a continuous, sweeping narrative", but rather break it up into smaller, overlapping units dealing with famous leaders, individuals, and major topics of significance.

The 465th greatest nonfiction book of all time


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  1. - The New Lifetime Reading Plan (The New Lifetime Reading Plan)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
Records of the Grand Historian Hardcover 9179171 $279.00 $185.19 1993
Records of the Grand Historian Hardcover 6682188 $72.22 1993
Records of the Grand Historian: Han Dynasty II Kindle Edition 346208 2011
Records Of The Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty Paperback 12594425
Cockroach and Other Stories (Renditions paperbacks) (v. 3) Paperback 3085811 $13.46 $9.00 1993
Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty Paperback 66429 $24.32 $13.99 1995
Records of the Grand Historian: Han Dynasty I Paperback 51844 $30.31 $20.45 1993
Records of the Grand Historian: Han Dynasty II Paperback 102235 $31.00 $25.90 1993
Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty Hardcover 2583245 $166.20 $78.00 1993