Diana Preston Besieged in Peking

ISBN 13: 9780094793903

Besieged in Peking

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9780094793903: Besieged in Peking

The 1900 Boxer Rebellion in China culminated in the siege of the eleven Foreign Legations in Peking, their relief by an international force sent up from Tientsin and the subsequent looting of the Forbidden City in Peking.'

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Review:

China at the turn of the century--the 20th century that is--was going through the most profound process of change in its lengthy history: internal revolutions and a shift of balance of power on the international stage. Into the flux of these times came the Boxers, a peasant cult whose practitioners believed themselves supernaturally invulnerable and whose slogan was, simply enough, "Destroy the Foreigner". The imperial ambitions of several nations, Britain and America particularly, received a jolt from the rebellion that ensued. There was a great deal of violence and 11 Foreign Delegations were besieged in Peking; the international community eventually asserted control.

"This book", Diana Preston tells us, "is about the human experience of living through the Boxer rising"; and she works hard to humanise the enormous historical events of China in 1900. She does this by drawing on extensive and often vivid eyewitness accounts and her own prose frequently becomes almost novelistic ("Then, suddenly, above the clamour of rifle fire the distant boom of heavy guns was heard coming from the east" and so on).Sometimes this works very well: we are, for instance, given a compelling sense of how claustrophobic it must have been to live through the siege. Other times the sheer crush of dramatis personae crowds the narrative out a little. But Preston's great skill is in negotiating a line between extreme interpretations of an extreme event. The perspective is more from the Western side, but nothing is black and white in this complex and detailed account. --Adam Roberts

About the Author:

Diana Preston is an Oxford-trained historian, broadcaster and author of several books. She lives in London.

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Preston, Diana
Published by constable (1999)
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Book Description constable, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. illustrated 322 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 001471

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Preston, Diana
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Book Description constable, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. illustrated 322 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 001472

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Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR005271508

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Book Description Constable, London, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. The story of the Boxer Rising. 1st edition Hardback in very good condition, in very good dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # a7359

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Book Description Constable, London, 1999. UK first edition, hard bound in dust jacket, 6 1/2 x 9 1/2, FINE/FINE CONDITION, xiv, 322 pages, ----------------------------------------------------This book tells the compelling and colourful story of the 1900 Boxer Rising in China which culminated in the siege of the eleven Foreign Legations in Peking, their relief by an international force sent up from Tientsin and the subsequent looting of the Forbidden City in Peking. Much of the story is told through eye-witness accounts which are vivid and often moving. The book also puts the story into the context of society and politics at the turn of the century a time when old orders were being challenged. Society was grappling with the debate over women's role, changing moral standards and a questioning of the old certainties of class and position. On the political front there were incipient doubts about the morality of Empire and new powers were emerging such as Germany, Japan and, in particular, the USA.----------------------------------------------------------- The book also shows how the Rebellion and the international reaction fit in with China's long standing and continuing troubled relationship with the outside world.The Boxer Rising was an extraordinary event, simultaneously heroic and farcical, tragic and shocking, brutal and ridiculous. It has spawned all kinds of myths. The defenders of the Legations have been portrayed as everything from steadfast representatives of the 'civilized' world bravely repelling the shrieking barbarian hordes of an evil Empress Dowager 'the Chinese Jezebel' to shallow, callous, champagne-swilling parasites who were never truly in danger. The truth lies somewhere in between. There were deeds of courage and humanity but also acts of consummate selfishness and cruelty. Above all it was a richly human story. Bookseller Inventory # 34283

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001913691

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Diana Preston
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Book Description Sep 27, 1999. Book Condition: Used: Very Good. UNCLIPPED DUST JACKET. EXCELLENT CONDITION. CONTENT CLEAN AND TIDY THROUGHOUT. **SENT FIRST CLASS MAIL FROM UK STOCK.** "Always choose readerz3, the best deal around for YOU and me!" 16. Bookseller Inventory # 1113QN0937M

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Book Description Constable, London, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. Constable, London, 1999. 1st printing, Fine/Fine/hardcover/book clean/complete dust jacket, Hardcover, 322pgs. Packed with care and shipped promptly. Bookseller Inventory # BOOKS033116I

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Book Description Constable, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Good condition, some are ex-library and can have markings. Bookseller Inventory # GD-199-50-8199008

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Book Description Constable, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Very good. Bookseller Inventory # HH-199-50-8199008

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