Long Peace Street: A Walk in Modern China (Hardback)Jonathan Chatwin (author)
Hardback 264 Pages / Published: 12/07/2019
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Through the centre of China's historic capital, Long Peace Street cuts a long, arrow-straight line. It divides the Forbidden City, home to generations of Chinese emperors, from Tiananmen Square, the vast granite square constructed to glorify a New China under Communist rule. To walk the street is to travel through the story of China's recent past, wandering among its physical relics and hearing echoes of its dramas. Long Peace Street recounts a journey in modern China, a walk of twenty miles across Beijing offering a very personal encounter with the life of the capital's streets. At the same time, it takes the reader on a journey through the city's recent history, telling the story of how the present and future of the world's rising superpower has been shaped by its tumultuous past, from the demise of the last imperial dynasty in 1912 through to the present day.
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Number of pages: 264
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
'Filled with insights, observations and anecdotes, Chatwin brings to life the past - and present - of one of the world's great cities in an account that is as thoughtful as it is informative.' Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History, Worcester College, Oxford 'Bringing together past and present, personal and political, Jonathan Chatwin gives readers a thoughtful and deeply-informed account of modern China through the marvellous device of a stroll down Beijing's longest avenue - and all in lucid and compelling prose.' Rana Mitter, Director of the University China Centre, University of Oxford 'Even the most dedicated flaneur has to work hard to find the charm in Chang'an Avenue, the main thoroughfare of, as Jonathan Chatwin rightly describes it, the "glorious mess of Beijing". Industrial relics, bankrupt theme parks, rabbit hutch housing, paranoid Communist Party elite boltholes and Tiananmen's ghosts all loom large. But Chatwin walks the walk and, along the way dissects the street, its denizens and its enduring role in China's history and collective modern traumas. ' Paul French, New York Times bestselling author of Midnight in Peking and City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir 'Jonathan Chatwin offers a distinctive window onto Beijing's past and present by taking readers along with him on a long trek down an important thoroughfare. An appealing mix of anecdotes from a journey and digressions backward in time make Long Peace Street a novel addition to the rich literature on China's sprawling capital.' Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chancellor's Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, coauthor of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know 'This three-dimension, moving timeline along the heart of imperial and contemporary Beijing made me want to head out the door and follow Chatwin's flaneur footsteps. "Long Peace Street" seamlessly blends history and reporting, shining a light on both the capital's neglected bookends and its dense core. I couldn't put it down.' Michael Meyer, author of The Last Days of Old Beijing, In Manchuria, and The Road to Sleeping Dragon 'Long Peace Street is a brilliant achievement. To read this book is to travel with an engaging writer as he explores the China of today and the raw pathos of its past. Long Peace Street gives its readers an insight essential for a sophisticated understanding of Chinese society today.' M. A. Aldrich, author of The Search for a Vanishing Beijing: A Guide to the Capital of China through the Centuries -- .
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