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Empress Dowager Cixi : the concubine who launched modern China

Author: Jung Chang
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013. ©2013
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : First American editionView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this biography, Jung Chang 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  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Biography
History
Named Person: Cixi, Empress dowager of China; Cixi, Empress dowager of China
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jung Chang
ISBN: 9780307271600 0307271609 9780307456700 0307456706
OCLC Number: 841899090
Notes: "This is a Borzoi book"--Title page verso.
Description: xiii, 436 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), map ; 25 cm
Contents: The imperial concubine in stormy times (1835-1861) --
Reigning behind her sons' throne (1861-1875) --
Ruling through an adopted son (1875-1889) --
Emperor Guangxu takes over (1889-1898) --
To the front of the stage (1898-1901) --
The real revolution of modern China (1901-1908) --
Epilogue: China after Empress Dowager Cixi.
Responsibility: Jung Chang.

Abstract:

In this biography, Jung Chang 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 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 with whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences. The world Chang describes here 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.

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