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Three thousand years of Chinese history in an accessible and authoritative single volume.
Despite the recent rise of China to a position of dominance on the world economic stage, Chinese history remains an elusive subject. Yet it is this vast narrative of appalling loss, superhuman endeavour and incredible invention that has made China the superpower it is today. From the dawn of legend to the succession of great dynasties, from Confucius to Chairman Mao and from the clamour of revolution to the lure of slick capitalism, John Keay takes the reader on a sweeping tour through Chinese history. This is a definitive and indispensable account of a country set to play a major part in our future.
‘There is no understanding China, present or future, without a sense of its past…Anybody fascinated by the puzzle of what comes next for our frail, perplexed planet will find unexpected answers in this crisp, often witty chronicle of amazements.’ Peter Preston, Observer
'Dynasties lead to world domination: John Keay's forensic analysis of China's history makes the world of the ancient emperors strikingly modern and relevant.' Observer
‘As John Keay’s ambitious new book makes clear…China’s history is intoxicatingly interesting and is sure to keep us on the edge of our geopolitical seats.’ Independent on Sunday
‘Absorbingly readable.’ Independent
‘An epic history of China…There’s no way of understanding China’s stirring future without a sense of its awe-inspiring past.’ Traveller magazine
About the author
John Keay’s books include ‘India Discovered’, ‘The Honourable Company’, ‘Last Post: The End of Empire in the Far East’, the two-volume ‘Explorers of the Western Himalayas’, ‘India: A History’, ‘The Great Arc’, ‘Sowing the Wind: The Seeds of Conflict in the Middle East’ and ‘Mad About the Mekong: Exploration and Empire in South East Asia’. He is married with four children, lives in Scotland, and is the co-author, with Julia Keay, of the ‘Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland’.