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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 20 reviews
on June 10, 2010
I had to read a number of works on late imperial China for a project, and this was by far the most enjoyable, and one of the most illuminating. A group portrait of life in the court of the Wanli emperor, it provides an indelible image of reformers struggling, always in vain, against a tottering, corrupt political bureaucracy that thwarted them at every turn. Huang made me feel like I was peering over the courtiers' shoulders as the imperial system, which had lasted for so many centuries, finally collapsed.

The only reason not to give it five stars is that, in organizing each chapter around a single person, Huang necessarily crossed the same ground a number of times, which made the book seem, here and there, a bit repetitious. But this is a fine piece of work, always interesting and often enthralling. I've never read another book like it.
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on April 22, 2014
Clean, clear and to the point, Ray Huang provides an extraordinary examination of one of those "turning point" or "watershed" years we tend to recognize only in hindsight. Chinese vocabulary and terms are kept to a minimum, press into service only when it supports the goals of the passage. Though the book is historic in nature, the author forces no judgements but allows the reader to develop their own conclusions about the nature of the events that took place. We could do a lot worse to have more of this sort of writing on what can be a very muddled and turbulent portion of the Human story.
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on May 25, 2016
For History buffs only and especially for Chinese History buffs
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on April 18, 2015
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on February 1, 2014
I love this!! The price is appropriate and i have been using this for a while, it works very well!!
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on September 17, 2016
Early of this year, I determined that if the book I want to read was written in English originally, I would read the original English version instead of Chinese translating version in order to improve my reading English but also experience what the authors express directly. Some days before, I have bought the Chinese version of "1587, A Year of No Significance" through local e-commerce website as a company benefit. I found that although the author Ray HUANG is a Chinese this book was written in English first. So, I decided to buy an English version in addition.
I searched it on Amazon.cn, but it could be delivered in 1-3 months. It's unacceptable for me. As a result, after the service of shipping to China had been offered for a long time already, I tried it first.
Unexpectedly, I received it today, just 3 weeks after my ordering. Although there are creases on the cover and the first 30 pages of the book, I'm still very exciting about my first experience of Amazon.com.
I'll write down my impression here after reading the book. And I'm expected for the different feelings of reading and comparing the two versions.
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on August 20, 2005
then I decided I didn't want to go on any longer. Page after page about political shenanigans. That might have been okay, but the book doesn't even tell you much about what life in China was like at that time. The behavior of the government officials during that time at that place were pretty much like what goes on today in governments or any bureaucracy for that matter. If anything, the book shows that it's pretty much the same story no matter where or when. What a stifling position it was to be an emperor at that time - a life of obligatory ritual after ritual. At any rate, my main criticism is that I feel I learned precious little about China, much less the China of the Ming dynasty.
55 comments| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse