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5 teosta 639 jäsentä 15 arvostelua

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Stephen R. Platt recounts these events in spellbinding detail, building his story on two fascinating characters with opposing visions for China's future: the conservative Confucian scholar Zeng Guofan, an accidental general who emerged as the most influential military strategist in China's modern näytä lisää history; and Hong Rengan, a brilliant Taiping leader whose grand vision of building a modern, industrial, and pro-Western Chinese state ended in tragic failure. näytä vähemmän

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Good, broad history of China and trade from 1800 forward. Objective- down the middle on China / UK perspective. Full of characters and capsule bios (too much for my taste), but still - very good narrative history.
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apende | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 12, 2022 |
A book that does a great job of clearly laying out a very complex historical event. Focuses on the history of trade leading up to the first opium war more than the war itself, but it makes a worthwhile picture of Chinese-British relations and trade. There were a lot of small details and colorful quotations that were interesting enough to make me want to look up and dig into the primary sources he cited--"Confessions of an English Opium Eater" and the letter from the official Lin Zexu to Queen Victoria, for instance--and for me that makes a history book a great success.… (lisätietoja)
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Sammelsurium | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 23, 2022 |
While is a very worthwhile chronicle of how the British relationship with Qing China curdled over time, however, maybe ten percent of this work deals with the actual war. Essentially, Platt traces the decline from the zenith of British respect in the 1790s, to the point, where, in the 1830s, a naval campaign seemed like the logical response to what was essentially a local misunderstanding by the nations' responsible officials on the ground in Canton. For most of this book, Platt examines either the perspective of a Chinese government that was surfing chaos with less and less success, or the position of the community of merchant adventurers in Canton, who longed for a more robust status. In the end, if this war was about anything (the opium trade was, at most, the fuse to the conflict), it was about the inability of the Chinese and British governments to previously establish channels through which to work out their issues; making this one of those rare occasions where a war broke out by something that looked like an accident. However, once that war did break out, there is no denying that the UK Whig government of time was prepared to make the most of the situation that they could. Also, while this war remains the event where it all went wrong in the estimate of modern Chinese patriots, at the time, Lin Zexu (the responsible official cracking down on the use and trade of opium), was held to have overplayed his hand, and gave the British an excuse for war.… (lisätietoja)
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Shrike58 | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 10, 2021 |
A well written history of the Chinese Civil War/Taiping Rebellion. An interesting read with a concentration on the foreign powers (Britian primarily) and the impact of their actions on the war.
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stevesbookstuff | 9 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 7, 2020 |



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