The Dynasties Of China: A History is a short summary of the history of China through the 20th century broken up by dynasty. Bamber Gascoigne covers the important pieces of Chinese history in a short two hundred pages. The book does a great job of knowing what it is trying to be, which is a summary. It doesn’t go into sources, it doesn’t discuss many of the implications of events, and it doesn’t discuss how China fits into the wider world. It is however a very easy read, and the subject matter is interesting enough that the shallow nature of the discussion is easily forgotten.
Readers who already have knowledge of the situations will most likely be frustrated with the lack of depth., but I recommend this book as a primer to anyone looking for a place to start in on Chinese history.