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Return to Dragon Mountain

Memories of a Late Ming Man

Jonathan D. Spence - Author

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ISBN 9781440620270 | 352 pages | 20 Sep 2007 | Penguin | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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The renowned historian captures a critical moment in Chinese history

Celebrated China scholar Jonathan Spence vividly brings to life seventeenth-century China through this biography of Z hang Dai, recognized as one of the finest historians and essayists of the Ming dynasty. Born in 1597, Z hang Dai was forty-seven when the Ming dynasty, after more than two hundred years of rule, was overthrown by the Manchu invasion of 1644. Having lost his fortune and way of life, Z hang Dai fled to the countryside and spent his final forty years recounting the time of creativity and renaissance during Ming rule before the violent upheaval of its collapse. This absorbing tale of Z hang Daiís life illuminates the transformation of a culture and reveals how Chinaís history affects its place in the world today.

Praise for Return to Dragon Mountain:
 
Selected as a “Best Book of the Year” by The Washington Post
 
“Westerners seeking to understand China should shelve that big pile of anxious new volumes on China’s economic ascent, and read instead Return to Dragon Mountain. Jonathan Spence is arguably the best living English-language Chinese historian . . . An extraordinary life and a fascinating story.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
 
“Spence takes us inside the mind of a fellow historian. . . . [Zhang Dai] left a timelessly human record of a pivotal and fascinating era, and Spence has employed patience and empathy to bring him back to life.”
The Washington Post
 
“Beguiling . . . Spence only enhances his fine reputation with seasoned perceptions of the accessible, multifaceted Zhang Dai.”
Booklist
 
“Beautiful . . . in Return to Dragon Mountain, Spence has himself opened an unsuspecting world, a magic-lantern realm lost until now and movingly retrieved.”
The New York Times Book Review
 
“Impressive.”
The New York Review of Books



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