The Story of China (Illustrated)

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Timeline | Story of China | PBS

Perhaps most useful for the non-specialist, however, is the integration within the text of a few hundred aptly chosen images, maps, paintings and diagrams, which help immeasurably in contextualizing and solidifying the historical narrative. The purpose truly is to illustrate: this is the first China book I have encountered that takes the trouble to provide a diagrammatic outline of the intricate and, at least to this observer, previously opaque bureaucracies and divisions of power within the Chinese Communist Party.

Skip to content I ntegral to the misguided conception of China as unknowably complex is the sheer scale of its history. The best place to start for those who wish to get a handle on modern China There is, therefore, much to recommend this book to the interested China amateur.

The Cambridge Illustrated History of China

Jonathan Chatwin is a British writer who has lived in, and written on, China. Post navigation. Search for: Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


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Surrounded by misty green hills with watchtowers that disappear into low-hanging clouds, the wall is a place for reflection—the sense of history and the craftsmanship required to build it permeate the ancient stones. Forced laborers used pulleys to haul stone slabs nearly seven feet long and weighing a ton up the steep mountainsides. Some 10, watchtowers and beacon towers are located every to yards for quick communication. While drums were the main form of communication before b.

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Each tower along the wall had a ready supply of burnable materials should the need arise. During the Ming dynasty the sounds of cannon warned of approaching danger. Children will delight in wandering the ramparts, lined with battlements and parapets and wide enough for five horses to ride abreast. Often a visit will leave us with more questions that we try to research afterward, like, Why was the Ming wall built in this direction when an earlier wall, still visible, was built so many meters in another direction?

With more than 4, miles to explore, there are hundreds of places where you can visit the wall. Sites near Beijing offer the easiest access. Skip the crowds at Badaling, and head for Jinshanling, two hours northeast of the capital, which offers stunning views and invigorating hikes. Children will love seeing the lights that illuminate a 1.

China: Timeline

An alternative: At Huanghuacheng, about an hour and a half north of Beijing, the wall skirts Jintang Lake and the crescent-shaped Huanghuacheng Reservoir. In summer, the mountain slopes are covered with huanghua yellow wildflowers that gave the town its name.


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For a quieter, less developed area ideal for young children, visit Mutianyu, a village just over an hour north of Beijing that dates from the 16th century. Enclosed cable cars can transport you straight from the valley to the top of the wall.