Chinese Lives

Chinese Lives

The People who Made a Civilization

  1. Victor H. Mair
  2. Sanping Chen
  • ISBN 9780500251928
  • 23.50 x 15.50 cm
  • Hardback
  • 232pp
  • 83 Illustrations, 52 in colour
  • including 5 maps
  • First published 2013

From emperors, court officials and concubines to philosophers, writers and revolutionaries – extraordinary lives of those who shaped China.

China is the most populous country on earth, and has the longest history of any modern nation. Its cultural and scientific achievements are well known; its script has been in use for more than three millennia. But who were the people who created this enduring civilization and what were they like?

Chinese Lives

Chinese Lives is a fresh, authoritative approach to the story of China, told through short biographies of almost 100 men and women from all walks of life – a colourful array of individuals, from an early warrior lady of the 13th century BC, Fu Hao, to the late 20th-century communist leader Deng Xiaoping. They include officials and political figures, rebels, exiles, philosophers, poets, artists, musicians, scientists, military leaders and committed pacifists: their careers, achievements, misdeeds, disasters, punishments, ideas and love stories make this an unforgettable read.

The authors have drawn on a huge range of sources and the book is richly illustrated with portraits, paintings, documents, bronzes and sculptures, as well as location maps.

Victor H. Mair is Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. His numerous publications include The True History of Tea, The Tarim Mummies, The Prehistory of the Silk Road and The Art of War: Sun Zi’s Military Methods.
Sanping Chen has published many articles on Chinese culture and history in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, the Journal of the American Oriental Society and the Journal of Asian History.
Frances Wood is head of the Chinese collections at the British Library. Her books include Did Marco Polo Go To China?, The Blue Guide to China, The Silk Road, 
The Lure of China: Writers from Marco Polo to J. G. Ballard and The First Emperor of China.


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