Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang 0307456706 9780307456700
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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 Xianfengs numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a coup against her sons 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 Cixis reputation as a conservative despot. Cixis 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 womens 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 Chinas--and the worlds--history.

Author: Jung Chang

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 464

Publisher: Anchor

Publication Date: 2014-09-09


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