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Emperor Qianlong: Son of Heaven, Man of the World Paperback – May 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0321084446 ISBN-10: 0321084446 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321084446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321084446
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Wall Street Journal review - June 19, 2009

About the Author

Mark C. Elliott is the Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History in the Department of East Asian Langauges and Civilizations at Harvard University.  Professor Elliott's interest in East Asia began at Yale, where he earned his BA (History, 1981) and MA (East Asian Studies, 1983). After several years of study and archival research in Taiwan, the PRC, and Japan, he earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993, specializing in the history of the last imperial dynasty, the Qing. A leading figure in what is sometimes called the "New Qing History," he is among the very few historians in the United States trained in the use of Manchu-language sources, upon which his first book, The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnicity in Late Imperial China (Stanford, 2001) is largely based.   He is  currently at work on a new book examining the connections between the Manchu empire and modern China.


More About the Author

Mark C. Elliott (Chinese name 欧立德; pinyin: Ōu Lìdé) is Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History at Harvard University and chair of the PhD Committee on History and East Asian Languages. He earned his BA and MA at Yale University, and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Elliott is one of the leading figures in the so-called "New Qing History," which emphasizes and the use of non-Chinese language sources, especially those in Manchu, and advocates a polycentric approach to the study of imperial China. More information is available at his faculty website, http://harvardealc.org/biography.php?personId=222.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
So, as I said, it's at best a good introduction to the period.
Louis Petrillo
A great resource on both the Qing Dynasty and a lesser-known but fascinating political figure in Chinese history.
Tax
His language is clear and direct and is thus also easily understandable for for non-sinologists.
isabelle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Insignificant Grad Student on October 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
This highly entertaining and compact book is by far the best overview on Qing, China for teaching. Elliott is masterful in taking a seemingly dull topic (I am typically not a big fan of late imperial China) and bringing it to life in a non-intimidating way. This book uses the backdrop of a biography of the Qianlong emperor to map out everything you need to know about the 18th century (Qianlong reigned over sixty years), including summarizing for a general audience the major debates in the field. There are no characters in this book and explains for the layperson on how to pronounce many of the Chinese names used. The back has an annotated bibliography for further reading. (Good for qualifying exam preparation!)

Everything from ritual life, to population growth and domestic politics, to trade, to the tribute system and Qing China in the world, and the British, is discussed in here, along with lots of little stories (good for attention-grabbing in lecture) and exciting new research in the field. For example, there's detailed discussion of the emperor's extensive imperial tours in China, the relationship with his wives, Qing consolidation of borders and border conflicts (including Tibet and Xinjiang), and discussion of Qianlong's obsession in preserving Manchu ways of life (clothing, language, hunting, martial skills, etc). There's also a great map for teaching Qing China borders (not that different from the current Chinese borders, minus Mongolia and Taiwan) with a map of the US overlaying it. Visually, one can see that the two countries are approximately the same size. Fascinating stuff to use for lecture!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Voice O. F. Reason on February 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good book, fleshed out with loads of interesting detail and broad context which helps to put things in perspective, especially against major events in western history. I also like the fact that it is well organized, so it can serve as a quick reference book as well as a relaxing and engaging read. Not a mean feat for what some may consider to be a dry subject.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Louis Petrillo on October 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is at best a good introduction to the Qianlong emperor's reign. Whole books have been written about several aspects of the reign. The author himself mentions Perdue's book on the Qing conquest of central Asia (which I've bought but not had time to read). Alan Peyrifitte has written _ The Immobile Empire _ about the MacCartney mission (which I did read and heartily recommend). This book includes many paintings by Catiglione who's another topic in his own right. So, as I said, it's at best a good introduction to the period. But it does do that very well and even includes very topical information.
By far the most moving aspect of the book was the portrayal of the emperor's personal life, such as his lifelong grief over the death of his first wife, or his doting on his last daughter. It shows yet again that these people were indeed people with loves and losses of their own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Romane on July 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This biography of the QianLong Emperor of the Ching Dynasty includes both personal and political information of this very long and important reign. Well written and dramatic description reveal a political social system running at its best to produce a rich, cultivated society providing satisfactory outlets for the energy of most of its peoples. Managing this diverse structure took constant effort and clear judgements which the Qianlong Emperor provided most of the time. The traditional authoritarian Chinese outlook and the fear that different ideas and methods would prove upsetting to a rather smoothly running society inhibited decision making so that the seeds of possible long term disruption were present. But those problems the emperor left to the future.
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