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Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War
Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War
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Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War

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Author: Platt, Stephen R.

Brand: Vintage

Color: Silver

Edition: Illustrated

Format: Illustrated

Number Of Pages: 512

Release Date: 11-12-2012

Details: Product Description Winner of the 2012 Cundill Prize in History 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. Review “A refreshing and gripping account that illuminates how civil conflicts can suck in outsiders and why the West has had great difficulties in trying to maintain a façade of neutrality and protect its commercial interests at the same time. . . . Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom may not have said the last word on the Taiping Rebellion, but the story it tells is powerful, dramatic, and unforgettable.” —Minxin Pei, San Francisco Chronicle   “Structurally, Stephen Platt’s Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom is a thriller. . . . We read in starred reviews things like ‘the book brings history to life.’ We read these words so often that we have forgotten what they mean, but this book reminds us. It makes history immediate and personal, one that speaks to us on a sensory, moral, intellectual and emotional level. They should teach this one in schools.” —Gerard Martinez, San Antonio Express-News   “A compelling and often meticulous account. . . . Platt is at his best when dissecting the often absurd dynamics of Western intervention.” —Ross Perlin, The Daily Beast   “An intricate and compelling historical narrative rich in military campaigning, vivid personalities and, above all, diplomatic misunderstanding. When Confederate artillery fired on Fort Sumter in 1861, the Taiping rebellion had been raging for 10 years, and it would continue until rebel supply lines collapsed in 1864. With a wonderful flair for storytelling, Platt explores the relationship between the two conflicts. . . . Authoritative and fascinating, Platt’s work will interest both the specialist and the casual reader (like me) who wants to learn about an event that presaged China’s entry into the modern world.” —Tom Zelman, Minneapolis Star Tribune   “China’s brutal Taiping Civil War erupted in the 1850s and raged until the fall of rebel-held Nanjing in 1864. The bloodbath paralleled our own North-South conflict, but dwarfed it in terms of casualties, geography and global fallout. . . . [Platt] juxtaposes the competing ideologies and leaders of the ruling Manchu Qing dynasty and the Hunan Taiping rebels with savvy and assurance. By neatly folding in the machinations of the British, Platt paints a picture of combat dire enough to have choked the Yangtze’s flow several times with discarded victims.” —Jonathan E. Lazarus, Newark Star

EAN: 9780307472212

Languages: english

Binding: Paperback

Item Condition: UsedLikeNew