Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War

ISBN-10: 0307472213
ISBN-13: 9780307472212
Edition: N/A
Authors: Stephen R. Platt
List price: $19.95 Buy it from $4.72
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Description: A gripping account of China’s nineteenth-century Taiping Rebellion, one of the largest civil wars in history.Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdombrims with unforgettable characters and vivid re-creations of massive and often gruesome battles—a sweeping  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/11/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 512
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.276
Language: English

A gripping account of China’s nineteenth-century Taiping Rebellion, one of the largest civil wars in history.Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdombrims with unforgettable characters and vivid re-creations of massive and often gruesome battles—a sweeping yet intimate portrait of the conflict that shaped the fate of modern China. The story begins in the early 1850s, the waning years of the Qing dynasty, when word spread of a major revolution brewing in the provinces, led by a failed civil servant who claimed to be the son of God and brother of Jesus. The Taiping rebels drew their power from the poor and the disenfranchised, unleashing the ethnic rage of millions of Chinese against their Manchu rulers. This homegrown movement seemed all but unstoppable until Britain and the United States stepped in and threw their support behind the Manchus: after years of massive carnage, all opposition to Qing rule was effectively snuffed out for generations. Stephen R. Platt recounts these events in spellbinding detail, building his story on two fascinating characters with opposing visions for China’s future: the conservative Confucian scholar Zeng Guofan, an accidental general who emerged as the most influential military strategist in China’s modern history; and Hong Rengan, a brilliant Taiping leader whose grand vision of building a modern, industrial, and pro-Western Chinese state ended in tragic failure. This is an essential and enthralling history of the rise and fall of the movement that, a century and a half ago, might have launched China on an entirely different path into the modern world.

?Stephen R. Platt is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Dramatis Personae
Chronology of Major Events
Preface
A Note on Romanization
Maps
Prologue: Heaven's Children
Twilight
The Preacher's Assistant
Neutrality
The Shield King
Soundings
An Appointment in the North
Order Rising
A Reluctant General
The Force of Doctrine
The Perils of Civilization
Endurance
Heaven and Earth
Crossings
The Great Peace
The Point of No Return
Vampires
Flowering Rain
Blood and Honor
Crossing the Mountain
Epilogue
Acknowledgments
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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