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A New York Times Notable Book
Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908) is the most important woman in Chinese history. She ruled China for decades and brought a medieval empire into the modern age.
At the age of sixteen, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor’s numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China—behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male.
In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how 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, the telegraph and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishments like “death by a thousand cuts” and put an end to foot-binding. She inaugurated women’s liberation and embarked on the path to introduce parliamentary elections to China. Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot.
Cixi reigned during extraordinary times and had to deal with a host of major national crises: the Taiping and Boxer rebellions, wars with France and Japan—and an invasion by eight allied powers including Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States. Jung Chang not only records the Empress Dowager’s conduct of domestic and foreign affairs, but also takes the reader into the depths of her splendid Summer Palace and the harem of Beijing’s Forbidden City, where she lived surrounded by eunuchs—one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences. The world Chang describes here, in fascinating detail, seems almost unbelievable in its extraordinary mixture of the very old and the very new.
Based on newly available, mostly Chinese, historical documents such as court records, official and private correspondence, diaries and eyewitness accounts, this biography will revolutionize historical thinking about a crucial period in China’s—and the world’s—history. Packed with drama, fast paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world’s population, and as a unique stateswoman.
About the Author: Jung Chang is the best-selling author of Wild Swans, which The Asian Wall Street Journal called the most widely read book about China, and Mao: The Unknown Story (with Jon Halliday), which was described by Time as “an atom bomb of a book.” Her books have been translated into more than forty languages and sold more than fifteen million copies outside mainland China, where they are both banned. She was born in China in 1952 and moved to Britain in 1978. She lives in London.
Title: The Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who ...
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Book Condition: Good
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR005557246
Book Description Jonathan Cape Ltd, 2013. Book Condition: Good. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP94961972
Book Description Jonathan Cape. Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0224087444I5N00
Book Description Book Condition: good. 739 Gramm. Bookseller Inventory # M00224087444-G
Book Description Jonathan Cape, London, 2013. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Good to Worn - Curled Edges. Size: Trade Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 055699
Book Description Jonathan Cape, 2013. Book Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 0224087444-2-4
Book Description Jonathan Cape, London, 2013. Softcover. Book Condition: Very Good. No ownership markings; a bit of wear around edges. Bookseller Inventory # 008170
Book Description Jonathan Cape. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0224087444 New: Packaged Carefully & Shipped Promptly. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed!. Bookseller Inventory # 005056
Book Description Jonathan Cape Ltd, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. DISPATCHED FROM THE UK WITHIN 24 HOURS ( BOOKS ORDERED OVER THE WEEKEND DISPATCHED ON MONDAY) BY ROYAL MAIL. ALL OVERSEAS ORDERS SENT BY AIR MAIL. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000466124
Book Description Jonathan Cape Ltd, London, UK, 2013. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. 1st Edition. First edition second printing, 2013, number line starts with 2. Trade softcover in pictorials wraps no DJ as issued. Condition new, square tight and very clean book, spine not creased, sharp corners, unread. 8vo, XVI + 436 pages illustrated with historic images, photographs and maps, notes, bibliography, index. No markings of any kind, no names no underlinings no highlights no bent pages. Not a reminder. Bookseller Inventory # 009650