Sunday, January 8, 2017

Review ~ Empress Dowager Cixi:The Concubine who Launched Modern China by Chang Jung

Title: Empress Dowager Cixi:
The Concubine who Launched Modern China
Author: Chang Jung
Copyright: 2014
Type:  Non-fiction
Pages: 464
Series: no

Reason for Reading
I love history and this one looked very interesting from China. Plus anything with a female leader is amazing and I will read in a heartbeat

Summary:
In 1852, at age sixteen, Cixi was chosen as one of Emperor Xianfeng’s numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a coup against her son’s regents and placed herself as the true source of power—governing through a silk screen that separated her from her male officials.
        Drawing on newly available sources, Jung Chang comprehensively overturns Cixi’s reputation as a conservative despot. Cixi’s extraordinary reign saw the birth of modern China. Under her, the ancient country attained industries, railways, electricity, and a military with up-to-date weaponry. She abolished foot-binding, inaugurated women’s liberation, and embarked on a path to introduce voting rights. Packed with drama, this groundbreaking biography powerfully reforms our view of a crucial period in China’s—and the world’s—history.

The Problems:
1.      Boy howdy did this story go on for so long and cover forever. I feel like this lady lived through everything literally. And that was part of the problem she lived for so long that I was so confused on when and where things were taking place.
2.      It was hard to keep track of when things were exactly taking place at what time in per-America timeframe which is totally not cool I know but then again, I am an American so…

The Wins:
1.      This was an amazing story told in a fantastic way
2.      Cixi was a fantastical leader and wonderful woman. The sheer number of things she had to go through in her lifetime was amazing to survive let alone to rule during all of it. I was truly amazed by this woman and what she accomplished to only have most of her accomplishments stolen by others or claimed in the name of the men who ruled under her.
3.      I really admire and appreciate how strong and smart Cixi was for a woman to be educated in that time and then have others teach her because she knew what it would take to rule was amazing and really made me re-evaluate my own fortune on education.

Goodreads Grade: 4 out of 5 stars

Would you recommend this book to others? Yes I really enjoyed it


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