Modern China: The Fall And Rise Of A Great Power, 1850 To The Present
No country on earth has suffered a more bitter history in modern times than China. In the second half of the nineteenth century, it was viewed as doomed to extinction. Its imperial rulers, heading an anachronistic regime, were brought low by enormous revolts, shifting social power patterns, republican revolutionaries, Western incursions to "split the Chinese melon" and a...more
Beginning in the mid 1850s with China's unequal treaties, and the subsequent foreign intervention and humiliation, Fenby proceeds to describe everything that constitutes the fall described in the title. We learn of the details of the Opium War, the rise of the real power behind the throne, Dowager Empress Cixi, the su...more
Jonathan Fenby's "Penguin History of Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850-2009" helped me to begin to comprehend the amazing metamorphosis which China underwent in about one and a half century: from a disintegrating empire, through a turbulent warlord era, through crippling Japanese occupation, civil war, sweeping early communism, excruciat...more
Seriously though, China's modern history is a horrifying catalogue of disasters. Mao was a psychopathic maniac and it's unbelievable that he had the support of so many western intellectuals. It's really quite impressive that the CCP have managed to stear China in the direction it's heading in without collapsing as the Soviet Union did.