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Author LinkChang, Jung,1952-
Title LinkEmpress Dowager Cixi : the concubine who launched modern China / Jung Chang.
Edition First American edition.
Distribution New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.
Description xiii, 436 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates :  illustrations (some color), maps ;  24 cm.
Type of Material Book
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 375-415) and index.
Contents 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 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." -- Publisher’s description.
Per.Sub. LinkCixi, Empress dowager of China, 1835-1908.
Subject LinkEmpresses -- China -- Biography.
LinkChina -- Politics and government -- 19th century.
LinkChina -- History -- 1861-1912.

System Number 000678622
ISBN Link9780307271600 (hardcover) : $30.00
Link0307271609 (hardcover)

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