Twenty-first century China is emerging from decades of war and revolution into a new era. Yet the past still haunts the present. The ideals of the Chinese Republic, which was founded almost a century ago after 2000 years of imperial rule, still resonate as modern China edges towards openness and democracy. Diana Lary traces the history of the Republic from its beginnings in 1912, through the Nanjing decade, the warlord era, and the civil war with the Peoples' Liberation Army which ended in defeat in 1949. Thereafter, in an unusual excursion from traditional histories of the period, she considers how the Republic survived on in Taiwan, comparing its ongoing prosperity with the economic and social decline of the Communist mainland in the Mao years. This introductory textbook for students and general readers is enhanced with biographies of key protagonists, Chinese proverbs, love stories, poetry and a feast of illustrations.