Perpetual Happiness

Perpetual Happiness

by Shih-Shan Henry Tsai
     
 

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Adding to the many accounts of the colorful and controversial Yongle (1360-1424), Tsai (history and Asian studies, U. of Arkansas) explores the passions, prejudices, depressions, and vision of an early modern Chinese autocrat, and the long-term impact of his ambitions and practices on the politics of China and Asia as a whole. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland,… See more details below

Overview

Adding to the many accounts of the colorful and controversial Yongle (1360-1424), Tsai (history and Asian studies, U. of Arkansas) explores the passions, prejudices, depressions, and vision of an early modern Chinese autocrat, and the long-term impact of his ambitions and practices on the politics of China and Asia as a whole. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Editorial Reviews

Vancouver Sun
A skillful biography of a figure who might be called China's Peter the Great. The son of the founder of the Ming Dynasty (1368—1644) removed the capital to Beijing, built the Great Wall, finished the Grand Canal, and made the court bureaucracy even more powerful and efficient, all the while encouraging exploration abroad (and putting down rebellion at home). Yongle was the force behind construction of the Forbidden City, home to himself and the 22 later emperors.

New York Times - Nicholas D. Kristof
Yongle traveled with an entourage of government officials and courtiers and logistical personnel that make American presidential trips look puny—-and the Emperor always took with him 10,000 cavalry soldiers and 40,000 foot soldiers. Yongle, in short, never did anything in a small way.

Booknews
Tsai (history and Asian studies, U. of Arkansas) presents an accessible biographical account of Emperor Yongle, also known as "Perpetual Happiness," who ruled China from 1402-1424. The tone is set with an opening chapter describing one day in the life of Yongle's court. Subsequent chapters analyze Yongle's formative years and his rise to power, and his command and development of a strong, centralized autocracy which continued for more than two centuries. Yongle's positive qualities<-->a tireless energy, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and a vision for China's future<-->are contrasted with his darker side: ruthlessness, brutality, and battles with depression and anxiety. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780295981246
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Publication date:
08/16/2010
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Morris Rossabi
Perpetual Happiness offers not only a view of a usurper who ushered in a cosmopolitan era in the Ming dynasty but also a description of the empire—-its government, its economy, and its relations with foreigners. Tsai's biography yields perspective on the life and times of the most renowned of the Ming emperors, with considerable attention devoted to the country he sought to shape.

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