China is a sleeping giant. It is the world's third largest country but the most populous nation on the planet-roughly one in four people alive today lives within its borders. It is heir to one of the oldest and richest civilizations in history, yet geography and the mindset of its rulers against foreigners has in large part kept the country isolated from the rest of the outside world for much of its history. This was never more true than in the post-World War II period when the excesses of its Japanese occupiers were followed by those of the Communist revolution under Mao Zhedong, and the cultural revolution that followed it.
Today, however, the sleeping giant has awoken. Business and economic growth are opening doors to a tourist invasion that will only get bigger the closer we get to the Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008.
Discover the beauty of China and the richness of its history in this lavishly illustrated coverage of China's geography, history, and culture. After a thoughtful introductory essay on China's long and eventful history, its importance to world history, and its current place in world politics, the book is split into geographical sections. Each of China's provinces is covered, including Tibet-no longer ruled by a Dalai Lama, but still one of the least accessible places on Earth.
From Great Wall to Guangdong, Qinghai to Shanghai, terra-cotta army to Tianamen Square, China is a fascinating and beautiful country. It deserves closer examination and Ian Westwell has provided the reader with an excellent start.