By Stephen R. Platt
Winner of the 2012 Cundill Prize in History
A gripping account of China’s nineteenth-century Taiping uprising, one of many greatest civil wars in heritage. Autumn within the Heavenly Kingdom brims with unforgettable characters and vibrant re-creations of big and sometimes ugly battles—a sweeping but intimate portrait of the clash that formed the destiny of contemporary China.
The tale starts off within the early 1850s, the waning years of the Qing dynasty, while be aware unfold of an important revolution brewing within the provinces, led through a failed civil servant who claimed to be the son of God and brother of Jesus. The Taiping rebels drew their energy from the negative and the disenfranchised, unleashing the ethnic rage of hundreds of thousands of chinese language opposed to their Manchu rulers. This homegrown flow appeared all yet unstoppable until eventually Britain and the U.S. stepped in and threw their help in the back of the Manchus: after years of big carnage, all competition to Qing rule used to be successfully snuffed out for generations. Stephen R. Platt recounts those occasions in spellbinding element, construction his tale on attention-grabbing characters with opposing visions for China’s destiny: the conservative Confucian pupil Zeng Guofan, an unintended normal who emerged because the so much influential army strategist in China’s glossy background; and Hong Rengan, an excellent Taiping chief whose grand imaginative and prescient of establishing a contemporary, business, and pro-Western chinese language country led to tragic failure.
This is a necessary and spell binding historical past of the increase and fall of the circulate that, a century and a part in the past, may need introduced China on a completely varied direction into the fashionable international.