By Stephen R. Platt
Winner of the 2012 Cundill Prize in History
A gripping account of China’s nineteenth-century Taiping uprising, one of many greatest civil wars in historical past. Autumn within the Heavenly Kingdom brims with unforgettable characters and brilliant re-creations of big and sometimes grotesque battles—a sweeping but intimate portrait of the clash that formed the destiny of recent China.
The tale starts off within the early 1850s, the waning years of the Qing dynasty, whilst be aware unfold of a massive revolution brewing within the provinces, led by way of a failed civil servant who claimed to be the son of God and brother of Jesus. The Taiping rebels drew their energy from the terrible and the disenfranchised, unleashing the ethnic rage of thousands of chinese language opposed to their Manchu rulers. This homegrown circulation appeared all yet unstoppable till Britain and the USA stepped in and threw their aid at the back of the Manchus: after years of huge carnage, all competition to Qing rule used to be successfully snuffed out for generations. Stephen R. Platt recounts those occasions in spellbinding element, development his tale on interesting characters with opposing visions for China’s destiny: the conservative Confucian student Zeng Guofan, an unintended normal who emerged because the such a lot influential army strategist in China’s smooth historical past; and Hong Rengan, a super Taiping chief whose grand imaginative and prescient of creating a contemporary, business, and pro-Western chinese language nation led to tragic failure.
This is a vital and captivating historical past of the increase and fall of the move that, a century and a part in the past, may need introduced China on a completely assorted course into the trendy global.
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Extra info for Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War
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