- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (December 17, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393315568
- ISBN-13: 978-0393315561
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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God's Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan Reprint Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
In what PW called a "masterful history," Spence recounts the mid-19th century Taiping Rebellion, in which a Chinese Christian fanatic seized Nanking and ruled his "New Jerusalem" for a decade.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
A China specialist who's had two LJ Best Books (The Search for Modern China in 1991 and The Memory Palace of Mateo Ricci in 1984) examines a bloody 19th-century uprising in China whose leader claimed to be the son of God.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
The book is not quite as interesting as it's subject. Writing is good but not dynamic.
England tried to address the problem with a tea tax, and lost control of her colony, America. The English then conquered India and set up tea plantations there to provide alternate supplies. Porcelain factories were set up in Germany (Dresden) and England (Wedgewood) to supply fine china. The English also started cultivating opium in India and running it into China for big profits.
The English were the world's first drug cartel. When the Chinese objected, the English forced open the opium trade doors in the two Opium Wars. As part of the treaties forced onto the chinese, China was forced to allow missionaries into their country.
The USA benefitted from this "gunboat diplomacy" more than England. The fortunes of the Forbes, Russell, Delano, and Lowell families of New England were founded on the smuggling of opium into China. America also developed a "lunatic fringe" religeous revival. Issichar Roberts was typical of these bible thumpers. They were self ordained zealots, who were out to "save the world" at any cost.
These New Englanders were responsible for many of the ills of the world. They sold slaves to the South, then preached abolition. They caused the US civil war.
The missionaries went into China preaching relligeon, revolution, and free trade (for opium). Roberts was a fifth column agitator against the Chinese Empire. He and his ilk applauded the Taiping "Kingdom of god". He even served as foreign minister for the Taipings.
The Taiping rebellion is one of the strongest arguments for banning of foreign missionaries. Although the book does not say this, it provides enough facts to support that such a bann.
The book is one of the few that provides a look at the Chinese side of history.
We still think of the "starving Chinese", when we live in a world with 90% of the goods we buy coming from China. This is even true in grocery stores. Most of the apple juice is made from concentrate from China. The frozen Tilapia and Swai fish in Walmart comes from China. We are in the position of England in the 18th century. We buy from the Chinese, but have nothing to sell them in return. Unfortunately opium smuggling and religeous fifth columns have gone out of style.
This is a "must read" for anyone concerned with China, international politics, international finance, and the dangers of theocracy.