By Stephen R. Platt
Winner of the 2012 Cundill Prize in History
A gripping account of China’s nineteenth-century Taiping uprising, one of many biggest civil wars in heritage. Autumn within the Heavenly Kingdom brims with unforgettable characters and vibrant re-creations of big and sometimes ugly battles—a sweeping but intimate portrait of the clash that formed the destiny of recent China.
The tale starts off within the early 1850s, the waning years of the Qing dynasty, whilst note unfold of an important revolution brewing within the provinces, led through a failed civil servant who claimed to be the son of God and brother of Jesus. The Taiping rebels drew their strength from the terrible and the disenfranchised, unleashing the ethnic rage of hundreds of thousands of chinese language opposed to their Manchu rulers. This homegrown flow appeared all yet unstoppable until eventually Britain and the us stepped in and threw their help at the back of the Manchus: after years of huge carnage, all competition to Qing rule used to be successfully snuffed out for generations. Stephen R. Platt recounts those occasions in spellbinding element, construction his tale on interesting characters with opposing visions for China’s destiny: the conservative Confucian student Zeng Guofan, an unintentional basic who emerged because the such a lot influential army strategist in China’s sleek heritage; and Hong Rengan, a super Taiping chief whose grand imaginative and prescient of creating a latest, commercial, and pro-Western chinese language nation led to tragic failure.
This is a vital and enchanting heritage of the increase and fall of the flow that, a century and a part in the past, may have introduced China on a wholly diverse direction into the trendy global.
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Extra resources for Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War
Probing how memories of media futures past may trigger digitization, I argue that temporal anchoring through the memory industry in Shanghai does not represent a refusal to partake in the fast-paced world (cf. Huyssen 1995). Instead, it pursues a memory of modernity where mobility is, in effect, its “natural tradition”. But the chapter concludes that visitors bring more tension to the picture by projecting their own cyberpunk/dystopian themes onto the media city, as they sometimes feel and sense that on the verges of global recognition, the city may face the potential termination of the same.
Similarly, television scholars have also been worried about the fate of memory in the age of electronic communication, and they have often claimed that television produces forgetting, not memories (cf. Heath 1990; Sturken 1997; Jameson 1998). More recently, Svetlana Boym refers to the epidemic proliferation of mediated memory products in the digital age as examples of a form of feigned nostalgia, lacking organic mnemonic qualities and hence a potential that may allow us to reflect upon our longings for a lost topoi.
The dynamics of mediated memory makes it “created when needed, driven by the connectivities of digital technologies and media and inextricably forged through and constitutive of digital social networks: in other words, a new ‘network memory’” (Hoskins 2009a: 92). Hence, the relationships between media and memory have currently become the object of renewed interest due to digitalization and the all-pervasive changes in our media environments and media use. Media have effects on how we remember, what we remember and perhaps the nature of memory itself (Garde Hansen et al.