Synopses & Reviews
Whether read for its powerful account of the largest uprising in human history, or for its foreshadowing of the terrible convulsions suffered by twentieth-century China, or for the narrative power of a great historian at his best, must be read. At the center of this history of China's Taiping rebellion (1845-64) stands Hong Xiuquan, a failed student of Confucian doctrine who ascends to heaven in a dream and meets his heavenly family: God, Mary, and his older brother, Jesus. He returns to earth charged to eradicate the "demon-devils," the alien Manchu rulers of China. His success carries him and his followers to the heavenly capital at Nanjing, where they rule a large part of south China for more than a decade. Their decline and fall, wrought by internal division and the unrelenting military pressures of the Manchus and the Western powers, carry them to a hell on earth. Twenty million Chinese are left dead.
"Marvelous and new. . . . [Spence] is the pre-eminent literary historian of China." Richard Bernstein
A powerful account of the largest uprising in human history--the Taiping rebellion (1845-64)--in which 20 million Chinese were left dead, God's Chinese Son tells "a story that reaches beyond China into our world and time; a story of faith, hope, passion, and a fatal grandiosity" (Washington Post Book World). Photos. Author lectures & tour.
"A magnificent tapestry . . . a story that reaches beyond China into our world and time: a story of faith, hope, passion, and a fatal grandiosity."--
Includes bibliographical references (p. -388) and index.
About the Author
Jonathan D. Spence is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University, where he has taught for thirty years. He has been awarded MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. The Search for Modern China won the Lionel Gelber Award and the Kiriyama Book Prize.