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Posted January 11, 2008
I suspect that I am like most Americans and was completely unaware of the two 'wars' that occurred between Britain and China in the mid 1800¿s. So, when I saw the book I was immediately intrigued with the subject ¿ and the authors¿ introduction should be the model of how to hook a potential reader into buying the book. Unfortunately, the introduction is the high point of the book and the rest of the book is not merely a down hill slide, it is a cliff. The authors¿ blatant hatred of England and outrage at English motivations and actions completely drowns that story. What a fascinating story this would have been if the authors would have simply let the facts speak for themselves ¿ surely the readers could be equally outraged on their own without page after page of the authors beating you down with the evil English empire. Oh, the authors do point out the jingoism and racism of the Chinese, but they temper this by all but making the Chinese out to be this large but simpleton empire that has no responsibility for the wars that occurred. Simply put, run, do not walk away from this book. You can never get back the time you spent reading this book and surely you could have found something more beneficial to do with your money ¿ I don¿t know, a brand new toothbrush?
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