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 biggest civil wars in heritage. Autumn within the Heavenly Kingdom brims with unforgettable characters and brilliant re-creations of big and infrequently ugly 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 big revolution brewing within the provinces, led via a failed civil servant who claimed to be the son of God and brother of Jesus. The Taiping rebels drew their energy from the bad and the disenfranchised, unleashing the ethnic rage of hundreds of thousands of chinese language opposed to their Manchu rulers. This homegrown stream appeared all yet unstoppable until eventually Britain and the us stepped in and threw their help in the back of the Manchus: after years of big carnage, all competition to Qing rule used to be successfully snuffed out for generations. Stephen R. Platt recounts those occasions in spellbinding element, construction his tale on attention-grabbing characters with opposing visions for China’s destiny: the conservative Confucian pupil Zeng Guofan, an unintended normal who emerged because the such a lot influential army strategist in China’s sleek heritage; and Hong Rengan, an excellent Taiping chief whose grand imaginative and prescient of establishing a latest, commercial, and pro-Western chinese language nation led to tragic failure.
This is an important and enchanting historical past of the increase and fall of the circulation that, a century and a part in the past, may have introduced China on a completely various direction into the trendy international.
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Additional resources for Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War
The sage emperor Yu] . . ” The [central] ﬁve hundred li constituted the Imperial Domain. . Five hundred li beyond constituted the Domain of the Nobles, . . Five hundred li farther beyond formed the Peace-Securing Domain, where they cultivated the lessons of learning and moral duties; in the other two hundred they showed the energies of war and defense. Five hundred li more remote still formed the Domain of Restraint. The ﬁrst three hundred were occupied by the tribes of the Yi; the other two hundred by criminals undergoing the greater banishment.
Due to the proximity of large percentages of the population to river systems, Chinese populations have always been particularly vulnerable to water disasters, and the millions of tons of silt produced by the Yellow River have affected even the most basic economic enterprises over the centuries. China’s dearth of water constitutes a serious problem as it enters the 21st century. Current estimates are that the Chinese land mass has less than a quarter of the world’s per-capita average water. The combination of low water levels and burgeoning industry has been disastrous for China’s environment and the health of its citizens.
The [central] ﬁve hundred li constituted the Imperial Domain. . Five hundred li beyond constituted the Domain of the Nobles, . . Five hundred li farther beyond formed the Peace-Securing Domain, where they cultivated the lessons of learning and moral duties; in the other two hundred they showed the energies of war and defense. Five hundred li more remote still formed the Domain of Restraint. The ﬁrst three hundred were occupied by the tribes of the Yi; the other two hundred by criminals undergoing the greater banishment.
Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War by Stephen R. Platt