God's Chinese Son by Jonathan D. Spence
The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan

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Synopsis

"A magnificent tapestry . . . a story that reaches beyond China into our world and time: a story of faith, hope, passion, and a fatal grandiosity."—Washington Post Book World
Whether read for its powerful account of the largest uprising in human history, or for its foreshadowing of the terrible convulsions suffered by twentieth-century China, or for the narrative power of a great historian at his best, God's Chinese Son must be read. At the center of this history of China's Taiping rebellion (1845-64) stands Hong Xiuquan, a failed student of Confucian doctrine who ascends to heaven in a dream and meets his heavenly family: God, Mary, and his older brother, Jesus. He returns to earth charged to eradicate the "demon-devils," the alien Manchu rulers of China. His success carries him and his followers to the heavenly capital at Nanjing, where they rule a large part of south China for more than a decade. Their decline and fall, wrought by internal division and the unrelenting military pressures of the Manchus and the Western powers, carry them to a hell on earth. Twenty million Chinese are left dead.

 

About Jonathan D. Spence

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Jonathan D. Spence is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University, where he has taught for thirty years. He has been awarded MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. The Search for Modern China won the Lionel Gelber Award and the Kiriyama Book Prize.
 
Published January 1, 1996 by HarperCollins Harper Collins. 400 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Religion & Spirituality, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Secure in this waterside stronghold, the insurgents built their New Jerusalem, bowdlerized the Old Testament (mainly to give Jesus a less reproachable lineage), and threatened to overrun all of South China.

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Publishers Weekly

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Finally defeated by a Manchu army and a force of volunteers under British Army officer Charles ``Chinese'' Gordon after 11 years of rebellion, Hong's movement left 20 million dead in its wake.

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Publishers Weekly

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In what PW called a ""masterful history,"" Spence recounts the mid-19th century Taiping Rebellion, in which a Chinese Christian fanatic seized Nanking and ruled his ""New Jerusalem"" for a decade.

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Publishers Weekly

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In what PW called a masterful history, Spence recounts the mid-19th century Taiping Rebellion, in which a Chinese Christian fanatic seized Nanking and ruled his New Jerusalem for a decade. (Ja

Dec 16 1996 | Read Full Review of God's Chinese Son: The Taipin...

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