"What originally brought me to China was its epic transformation in recent years. I was only interested in the China of now and its prospects for the future. My conversations with different Chinese, however, invariably took a detour to China's past, to a history that continues to influence government policies, and people's perceptions of themselves and the world that surrounds them. Whether through the lingering humiliation of foreign occupation in the final years of the Qing Dynasty, or the years of civil war, or the excesses and the violence of the social expirements by the Communist Party in the first 30 years of its power, the Chinese remain haunted by their past. The heavy dust of history is felt everywhere."
Check out some of his other books which look really good. Embracing the Infidel and Social Change in Iran.
What Brought You to China?
Behzad Yaghmaian on the Rising Power of China and Russia