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Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China (Paperback)
  • Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China (Paperback)

Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China (Paperback)

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Paperback Published: 03/07/2014
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This is from the bestselling author of Wild Swans and Mao: The Unknown Story. In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Empress Dowager Cixi - the most important woman in Chinese history - brought a medieval empire into the modern age. Under her, the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state and it was she who abolished gruesome punishments like 'death by a thousand cuts' and put an end to foot-binding. Jung Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot and 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 - with one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences. 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. "Powerful". (Simon Sebag Montefiore). "Truly authoritative". (New York Times). "Wonderful". (Sunday Times). It is shortlisted for the James Tait Black Biography Prize.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9780099532392

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“Erudite. Exciting. Engaging.”

I was delighted to review this book after hearing about Empress Dowager Cixi on Radio 4. I have not been disappointed.

Having been a fan of reading about women who make their way in a man's world ever since... More

2nd July 2014
Helpful? Upvote 1

“An Educational Read”

Jung Chang goes into detail of Empress Dowager Cixi’s life in a clear informative way. This biography details the life of one of the world’s most powerful women in a time where culture and society was very... More

27th July 2014
Helpful? Upvote 2

“Gripping, Elegantly Written & Well Researched”

When I started reading this biography I had very little knowledge of Chinese history and, apart from being aware of her existence, I knew nothing about Empress Dowager Cixi.

It is very obvious that, like many... More

30th June 2014
Helpful? Upvote 0

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