This lavishly illustrated volume explores the history of China during a period of dramatic shifts and surprising transformations, from the founding of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) through to the present day. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this rising superpower on the verge of what promises to be the 'Chinese century', it introduces readers to important but often overlooked events in China's past, such as the bloody Taiping Civil War
(1850-1864), which had a death toll far higher than the roughly contemporaneous American Civil War. It also helps readers see in new ways more familiar landmarks in Chinese history, such as the Opium War
(1839-1842), the Boxer Uprising of 1900, the rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, and the Tiananmen protests and Beijing Massacre of 1989.