Synopses & Reviews
This exciting new translation with footnotes is more readable than past versions and will appeal to modern readers.
The Three Kingdoms is an epic Chinese novel written over six centuries ago. It recounts in vivid historical detail the turbulent years at the close of the Han Dynasty, when China broke into three competing kingdoms and over half the population were either killed or driven from their homes. Part myth, part fact, readers will experience the loyalty and treachery, the brotherhood and rivalry of China's legendary heroes and villains during the most tumultuous period in Chinese history.
Considered the greatest work in classic Chinese literature, The Three Kingdoms is read by millions throughout Asia today. Seen not just as a great work of art, many Chinese view it as a guide to success in life and business as well as a work that offers great moral clarity—while many foreigners read it to gain insights into Chinese society and culture. From the saga of The Three Kingdoms, readers will learn how great warriors motivate their troops and enhance their influence, while disguising their weaknesses and turning the strengths of others against them.
This first volume in a trilogy introduces Liu Bei and his sworn brothers-in-arms Zhang Fei and Guan Yu, whose allegiance is sorely tested in a society that is in flux where each group is fighting for its survival against the other.
"The Three Kingdoms is considered the ultimate book on strategy, offering keen insights into Chinese culture. Ron Iverson's effort is a great contribution to the understanding of Chinese culture and history." —Xinmin Wang, former Consul for Cultural Affairs for the PRC and advisor to the President of China
"This translation faithfully conveys a native Chinese-speaking person's understanding of this most influential and famous Chinese book. To translate this Chinese classic into modern English is a challenging and difficult job for any language translator. However, this joint effort by Yu Sumei and Ronald Iverson has met the challenge." —Hua Xin, former advisor and translator for IBM China
"One of the greatest and best-loved works of popular literature." —Dictionary of Oriental Literatures
About the Author
first visited China in 1984 as the personal representative of the Mayor of Chicago as part of a Sister Cities program. For the past 30 years he has continued to regularly visit China and has founded joint business ventures with Chinese partners and taught Business Strategy at Tongji University in Shanghai. He also personally arranged the first ever exhibition of Forbidden City artifacts from the Palace Museum in Beijing to tour the US. Early in his visits to China, Iverson discovered The Three Kingdoms
and came to realize the enormous cultural significance the Chinese people place in the book. Believing that one needed to be familiar with the principles revealed in the book in order to find business or political success in China, and being dissatisfied with existing translations, Iverson decided to fund and edit a new translation aimed towards delivering the thrill of a contemporary novel while imparting understanding of a key aspect of Chinese culture.
Yu Sumei is a professor of English at East China Normal University. She has translated several English language books into Chinese and is the first native Chinese speaker to translate The Three Kingdoms into English. She invested a total of two years into working on this new translation of The Three Kingdoms, spending the time on sabbatical in New York with her daughter, who typed the translation out as she completed it.