Events

China versus The West: Will it be the match of the day?

Summary

Eminent historian Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Blainey AC will speak on the occasion of the launch of Battle for Beijing, 1858–1860 by UTAS Professor Harry Gelber.

Start Date

2nd Mar 2017 6:00pm

End Date

2nd Mar 2017 7:30pm

Venue

Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre, Sandy Bay campus

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Eminent historian and commentator

Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Blainey AC

will speak on the occasion of the launch of the book

Battle for Beijing, 1858–1860: Franco-British Conflict in China

by University of Tasmania Honorary Research Associate

Emeritus Professor Harry Gelber

About Geoffrey BlaineyGeoffrey Baliney

Professor Geoffrey Blainey has a long and distinguished career in academic circles. For twenty years he was a professor of economic history and then Ernest Scott Professor of History at the University of Melbourne. He also held the chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University. In 1988 in New York he received the International Britannica Award for excellence in the dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of humankind.

A member of various federal government committees, he was Chairman of the Australia Council for four years and Chairman of the Australia-China Council for five years and in 2001 was chairman for the National Council for the Centenary of Federation. In the early 1980s he was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. In 1988 he received the International Britannica Award for excellence in the dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of humankind.

He is the author of many books, including The Tyranny of Distance and The Causes of War. Amongst his recent titles are A Short History of the World (2000), a best seller now issued in many editions and translations extending from Italian to Portugese; A Short History of the Twentieth Century, released in 2005; and The Story of Australia's People, released in 2015.

About Battle for Beijing, 1858–1860: Franco-British Conflict in ChinaBattle for Beijing cover

The ‘battle for Beijing’ is universally – and quite wrongly – believed to have been about opium. This book argues that it was about freedom to trade, Britain’s demands for diplomatic equality, and French demands for religious freedom in China.

Battle for Beijing, 1858–1860 offers fresh insights into the reasons behind the actions and strategies of British authorities, both at home and in China, and the British and French military commanders. It goes against the widely accepted views surrounding the Franco-British conflict, proposing a bold new argument and perspective.

Refreshments from 5.30pm.

Held in partnership with Asia Institute Tasmania.