Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age

Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age

作者 : Stephen R. Platt

出版社 : ALFRED A. KNOPF

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內容簡介


The definitive history of the Opium War--a vivid narrative of the earliest Western efforts to open China to trade and the resulting war that ensured the decline of imperial China.

When Britain declared war on China in 1839, it sealed the fate of what had been, for centuries, the wealthiest and most powerful empire in the world. But local corruption, popular uprisings, and dwindling finances had left the country much weaker than was commonly understood and the war set in motion the fall of the Qing dynasty which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. Imperial Twilight is the dramatic, epic story of the decades leading up to the war. Award-winning historian Stephen Platt recounts the first efforts by the British government to "open" China to trade--Western missionaries and traders venturing to the still mysterious empire while the Chinese emperor and officials struggled to manage their country's decline--and makes clear how the profits from opium ultimately lead to the war. Given the growing uncertainty in current relations between China and the West, the riveting history recounted in Imperial Twilight has important implications for the world today.
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作者介紹
About the Author

STEPHEN R. PLATT
is a professor of Chinese history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His last book, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom (Knopf, 2012), was a Washington Post notable book, a Foreign Policy "favorite read," and won the Cundill Prize. Platt lives with his wife and children in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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