Beijing (Through Time Series)by Richard Platt, Cappon Manuela
Through Time: Beijing traces the rise and fall of great dynasties and the everyday lives of the citizens who prospered or suffered under their rule. Beginning in prehistoric times, an agricultural community slowly evolves. Farming villages then come under the control of a local lord, and by the medieval period an imperial palace is taking shape. This new/i>… See more details below
Through Time: Beijing traces the rise and fall of great dynasties and the everyday lives of the citizens who prospered or suffered under their rule. Beginning in prehistoric times, an agricultural community slowly evolves. Farming villages then come under the control of a local lord, and by the medieval period an imperial palace is taking shape. This new capital is then overthrown by invading Mongols, who destroy it and build their own city. Later, the Mongols are replaced by the Ming, who create the legendary Forbidden City and rule China for the next five hundred years. The book's fluent narrative text and beautiful illustrations tell the enthralling story of BeijingÑits triumphs, conflicts, and people--right up to the present day.
Chronologically arranged spreads begin with "A marshy home 16000 B.C.," continue on with such chapters as "Kublai Khan's city A.D. 1290," "The Forbidden City A.D. 1406," and "The Cultural Revolution A.D. 1966," and conclude with "Museum City Today." Paragraphs around a large central picture describe what is going on and are written in the present tense, which can be a bit confusing at first. The pictures of different scenes or details are also captioned. The layout is attractive, and the full-color illustrations invite close inspection. There is no sugarcoating here; soldiers burn houses and kill residents, and intellectuals are put to death during the Cultural Revolution. The narrative seems to be written from the Chinese perspective of each time period, such as referring to the "hated Yuan" or stating that "the Forbidden City has stood for everything that is wrong with the 'old' China." This style requires a bit of sophistication on the part of readers, who may not have the background knowledge to put events into context or assess its historical accuracy. What is misleading about this volume is that after eight entries discussing different locations and conquerors, the concentration is on the Forbidden City. There is nothing about Beijing as a whole or the modern aspects of the metropolis.-Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
Meet the Author
Richard Platt is the award-winning auther of Castle Diary and Pirate Diary.
Manuela Cappon is a member of the MM Communicazione illustration studio based in Florence, Italy.
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