God's Chinese Son: Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan

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9780002555845: God's Chinese Son: Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan

A remarkable, unconventional account of one of the most bizarre and bloody events of Chinese history, the Taiping Rebellion, by the leading historian of China

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"Marvelous and new... [Spence] is the pre-eminent literary historian of China." -- Richard Bernstein

From the Back Cover:

The Taiping rebellion in mid-nineteenth-century China was one of the strangest and most violent events in human history. It was led by Hong Xiuquan, a failed civil servant from a peasant family who was convinced by a dream that he was the son of the Christian God, entrusted with the task of saving the world, and was to cost at least twenty million lives. The basic outline of this bizarre rebellion is a matter of historical record: Hong's fiery preaching, which drew to him a fanatical army of followers, the battles, massacres and sieges by which they established power over a vast area of northern China; Hong's eleven-year rule over his 'Heavenly Kingdom' from his capital Nanjing, lolling on a golden sedan chair carried by concubines and playing his worshippers off against each other, the eventual demoralisation of his formerly invincible army, whose leaders by now included a motley collection of foreign mercenaries; a succession of defeats, the siege of Nanjing and the increasingly deluded and tyrannical Hong's death by poison. It is a titanic story.

To this Jonathan Spence adds insights into the minds of the participants – Hong in particular – and an immediacy in the unfolding of the narrative which makes 'God's Chinese Son' unlike any other history book of recent years. The book is a revelation both in its intimate detail and its grand scale, a work of tremendous force, with all the passion, drama and intensity of a great novel.

"Crammed with passion and violence and odd moments of humour. It reads like a great novel, and once again confirms that Jonathan Spence is the great literary historian of China writing in English today.”
LINDA JAIVIN, 'Australian'

"Combines scrupulous scholarship and a vivid imagination. The result is enthralling."

"Irresistible… magnificent."
MARIE ARANA-WARD, 'Washington Post'

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Spence, Jonathan
Published by HarperCollins Harper Collins
ISBN 10: 0002555840 ISBN 13: 9780002555845
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
M and N Media
(Acworth, GA, U.S.A.)

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