Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom

Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom

China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War

eBook - 2012
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A gripping account of China's nineteenth-century Taiping Rebellion, one of the largest civil wars in history. Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom brims with unforgettable characters and vivid re-creations of massive and often gruesome battles--a sweeping yet intimate portrait of the conflict that shaped the fate of modern China. The story begins in the early 1850s, the waning years of the Qing dynasty, when word spread of a major revolution brewing in the provinces, led by a failed civil servant who claimed to be the son of God and brother of Jesus. The Taiping rebels drew their power from the poor and the disenfranchised, unleashing the ethnic rage of millions of Chinese against their Manchu rulers. This homegrown movement seemed all but unstoppable until Britain and the United States stepped in and threw their support behind the Manchus: after years of massive carnage, all opposition to Qing rule was effectively snuffed out for generations. Stephen R. Platt recounts these events in spellbinding detail, building his story on two fascinating characters with opposing visions for China's future: the conservative Confucian scholar Zeng Guofan, an accidental general who emerged as the most influential military strategist in China's modern history; and Hong Rengan, a brilliant Taiping leader whose grand vision of building a modern, industrial, and pro-Western Chinese state ended in tragic failure. This is an essential and enthralling history of the rise and fall of the movement that, a century and a half ago, might have launched China on an entirely different path into the modern world.
Publisher: 2012
ISBN: 9780307957597
Branch Call Number: OverDrive ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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chrisabler
Sep 14, 2018

A superb book describing a historical event of major importance to the history of China which is not as well known as it should be. Written in a style that makes reading it very easy and enjoyable.

h
hornpipe
Nov 25, 2014

Superb book!
Doesn't just tell you "What happened"; shows you what the forces were at work in China at the time, AND globally. One of the most wholistic books of history I've ever read, and written in a very exciting, page-turner way.

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