Return to Dragon Mountain by Jonathan D. Spence
Memories of a Late Ming Man

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



A renowned historian captures a critical moment in Chinese history
Zhang Dai is recognized as one of the finest historians and essayists of China's Ming dynasty. When he was born into a wealthy family in 1597, the Ming dynasty had been in place for 229 years. Zhang's early life was marked by the expansive sense of progress that permeated Ming culture: the flourishing of reformist schools of Buddhism; wide-scale philanthropy; the education of women; a celebration of the visual arts, writing, and music; intellectual pursuit of medicine and science?this was truly a time of cultural creativity and renaissance in China.
When the Ming dynasty was overthrown in the Manchu invasion of 1644, Zhang Dai's family lost their fortune and their way of life. Zhang Dai fled to the countryside, where, as a writer of tremendous skill, acuity, and passion, he spent his final forty years recounting his previous life as a way of leaving a legacy to his children and rebuilding a spirit shattered by the violent upheaval he had witnessed.
Celebrated China scholar Jonathan Spence has pored over Zhang Dai's extraordinary documents and vividly brings to life seventeenth-century China. This absorbing book illuminates a culture's transformation and reveals how China's history affects its place in the world today.

About Jonathan D. Spence

See more books from this Author
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 November 25, 2008 by Penguin Books. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Return to Dragon Mountain

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

An extremely close--indeed, hermetically sealed--second-hand look inside 17th-century China.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Return to Dragon Mountain: Me...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Jonathan Spence pieces together the life and work of a prolific 17th-century Chinese historian.

Oct 07 2007 | Read Full Review of Return to Dragon Mountain: Me...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Zhang Dai (1597–1689), subject of this absorbing and evocative literary-biographical study, was a Chinese essayist and historian whose long life bridged the conquest of China by the Manchus a

May 28 2007 | Read Full Review of Return to Dragon Mountain: Me...

Reader Rating for Return to Dragon Mountain

An aggregated and normalized score based on 9 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review