Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

by Jung Chang
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Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang

A New York Times Notable Book
An NPR Best Book of the Year

In 1852, at age sixteen, Cixi was chosen as one of Emperor Xianfeng’s numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a coup against her son’s regents and placed herself as the true source of power—governing through a silk screen that separated her from her male officials.
        Drawing on newly available sources, Jung Chang comprehensively overturns Cixi’s reputation as a conservative despot. Cixi’s extraordinary reign saw the birth of modern China. Under her, the ancient country attained industries, railways, electricity, and a military with up-to-date weaponry. She abolished foot-binding, inaugurated women’s liberation, and embarked on a path to introduce voting rights. Packed with drama, this groundbreaking biography powerfully reforms our view of a crucial period in China’s—and the world’s—history. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307456700
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/09/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 126,424
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.80(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Jung Chang is the best-selling author of Wild Swans, which The Asian Wall Street Journal called the most widely read book about China, and Mao: The Unknown Story (with Jon Halliday), which was described by Time as “an atom bomb of a book.” Her books have been translated into more than forty languages and sold more than fifteen million copies outside mainland China, where they are both banned. She was born in China in 1952 and moved to Britain in 1978. She lives in London.

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Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Wladzia More than 1 year ago
Jung Chang beautifully blends East/West perspectives so that the reader evolves with the Empress Dowager in thought, culture and history. I found myself experiencing a full range of emotions from initial distrust, dislike,and confusion over Cixi's motives and manipulations to a true understanding and admiration of her choices and decisions for her country and its people. There is an even-handedness on the author's part in handling both Cixi's innovations as well as her mistakes. One never feels sorry for Cixi because she has so many dimensions and such genuine instincts when it comes to judging people and setting a course for China. I would have loved to have met her, even if it meant to be on my knees.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Indepth characters, times & geo-politics...
vicpf51 More than 1 year ago
After reading Jung's "Wild Swans, I was looking forward to reading another one of the authors books.  This is the first book I have read about Empress Cixi that puts her in a positive light,  Jung has uncovered facts that were up to know unknown.  Her research has added much information about this foreign dynasty has ruled China for so many years.  Highly recommended.
MontzieW More than 1 year ago
Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang reads so smoothly like a novel but is strictly historical. I haven't read a history book so well done in a long time. Well done that keeps to the facts, not adding speculation, but adding what the what the surroundings/clothing/jewelry/etc would look like. So well done I felt like I knew the society of the times, dress, politics, dress, etc. Very different culture but interesting. I got this from the library and it was the audio book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent! It's very hard for me to keep reading just one book because i usually get restless reading the same book, so usually i end up reading three books all at once; however, not the case with this book, i couldn't put it down!! the author is an excellent writer, he did a thorough research. The story of the empress is amazing, never a dull moment! She lived her life fully! I want to read more of his books, I'm hooked! I highly recommend the author and this book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the book seemed to move rather slowly--didn't make it all the way through--too many other books that are more interesting to read.