China is the most populous country on earth, with the longest history of any modern nation. Here, the full range of Chinese cultural and scientific achievements, as well as its military conquests, wars, rebellions, and political and philosophical movements, are told through the eyes of real people who created or were involved in them.
The subjects include emperors and empresses, concubines, officials and political figures, rebels, exiles, philosophers, writers and poets, artists, musicians, scientists, military leaders, and committed pacifists. From Fu Hao, an early warrior lady of the thirteenth century BC, to the late twentieth-century leader Deng Xiaoping, their careers, achievements, misdeeds, disasters, punishments, ideas and love stories make this an unforgettable read.
Illustrated with portraits, paintings, written documents, bronzes, sculptures, and location maps, and written in an authoritative yet accessible style, Chinese Lives provides the perfect introduction to China’s history and her peoples.
Besides emperors, generals, and leading scholars, the authors include lesser-known figures …help[ing] the reader understand ancient China as a multiethnic, open empire, in which people with different ethnic backgrounds contributed to each other and, in turn, to the common ‘Chinese’ culture.
— The Historian
Victor H. Mair
Victor H. Mair is Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of many books including The True History of Tea and The Tarim Mummies.
Sanping Chen articles have appeared in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, the Journal of the American Oriental Society, and others. He lives in Canada.
Frances Wood is head of the Chinese Collections at the British Library.