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Empress Dowager Cixi

The Concubine Who Launched Modern China
Chang, Jung (Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Empress Dowager Cixi
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In this ground-breaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Empress Dowager Cixi fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, telegraph, and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry.
Authors: Chang, Jung, 1952-
Title: Empress Dowager Cixi
the concubine who launched modern China
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2013
Edition: First American edition
Characteristics: xiii, 436 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations (some color), maps ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Jung Chang
Contents: The imperial concubine in stormy times (1835-1861). Concubine to an emperor (1835-56) ; From the Opium War to the burning of the old Summer Palace (1839-60) ; Emperor Xianfeng dies (1860-61) ; The coup that changed China
Reigning behind her sons' throne (1861-1875). First step on the long road to modernity (1861-9) ; Virgin journeys to the West (1861-71) ; Love doomed (1869) ; A vendetta against the West (1869-71) ; Life and death of Emperor Tongzhi (1861-1875)
Ruling through an adopted son (1875-1889). A three-year-old is made emperor (1875) ; Modernisation accelerates (1875-89) ; Defender of the empire (1875-89)
Emperor Guangxu takes over (1889-1898). Guangxu alienated from Cixi (1875-94) ; The Summer Palace (1886-94) ; In retirement and in leisure (1889-94) ; War with Japan (1894) ; A peace that ruined China (1895) ; The scramble for China (1895-8)
To the front of the stage (1898-1901). The reforms of 1898 ; A plot to kill Cixi (September 1898) ; Desperate to dethrone her adopted son (1898-1900) ; To war against the world powers : with the Boxers (1899-1900) ; Fighting to a bitter end (1900) ; Flight (1900-1) ; Remorse (1900-1)
The real revolution of modern China (1901-1908). Return to Beijing (1901-2) ; Making friends with Westerners (1902-7) ; Cixi's revolution (1902-8) ; The vote! (1905-8) ; Coping with insurgencies, assassins, and the Japanese (1902-8) ; Deaths
China after Empress Dowager Cixi
Summary: In this ground-breaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Empress Dowager Cixi fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, telegraph, and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry.
ISBN: 9780307271600
0307271609
Branch Call Number: B-Ci499c 2013
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages 375-415) and index
Subject Headings: Cixi, Empress dowager of China, 1835-1908 Empresses China Biography China Politics and government 19th century China History 1861-1912
Topical Term: Empresses
LCCN: 2013020766
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I could hardly put this book down. I enjoyed the historical facts and the day to day tidbits of life. I liked the writing style,and a few good pictures. This book makes me want to read more of the authors' books.

Apr 13, 2014
  • D060607210 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Author clearly has an agenda, and minimizes many of the Empress' mistakes and downright wicked behaviour, but overall it is a great book about a tremendous woman who was a victim of unbelievably greedy imperialism, all while trying to make positive changes in an ancient society comprising one third of the world's population.

Apr 13, 2014
  • GLNovak rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This biography was quite interesting. I learned more of the chronology of Chinese history than I ever had before, and learned that the Dowager Empress might not have been as evil and vicious as I had thought. She is portrayed here as quite the forward-thinking reformer who managed to remain at the top for years through her abilities to analyze situations and steer through all perils. It was a hard read because of the unusual way of including research into the body of the narrative. Sometimes I had to go back to see if they were the author's words or quoted. No footnotes to speak of and a section of 'Notes" at the back meant to support the author's quotes in the narrative. I did enjoy seeing the various photos included, and my interest certainly has been piqued to look further into Cixi's life and record.

Apr 05, 2014
  • SeattleSaul rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A well-written work by a China historian. Chang opens up the curtain on a subject that requires knowledge of China and the language and that is otherwise inaccessible to most Western readers. Chang is obviously a Cixi fan, and takes pains to show her in the best light while pointing out her inevitable human errors, some of which are hard to rationalize.
Cixi has been reviled in other publications, and perhaps she deserves this counterpoint.
Read this book with an open mind and heart.

"Presents an epic portrait of the 19th-century empress that provides coverage of the coup that rendered her regent after her husband's death, her defiance of centuries of traditions and formalities and her role in introducing Western political ideas and technologies." Biography and Memoir March 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/1622705f-5af4-4dc2-9e26-3b28d1be098f?postId=f56cf88e-7093-4fd9-bfa7-93d497929bcc

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app05 Version Borgsjo Last updated 2014/10/29 13:43