The distinctive, albeit controversial, role of the individual in history has given rise in the West to the development of biography as a special field of literature and historical writing. In China, the writing of biography has for many centuries also occupied a special position, a position shaped both by the forms and purposes of Chinese historical writing and by the fabric of Chinese society. The papers of this symposium, presented originally at the 1961 annual meeting of the American Historical Association, offer a preliminary assessment of the place of biographical writing in China and may serve to suggest avenues for further fruitful study and research.
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Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 1962