The Imperial Capitals of China
An Inside View of the Celestial Empire
A unique history and exploration of China through its imperial capital cities over two millennia.
As China- the oldest continuous civilisation in existence- stands to become the most influential, with its economy expected to exceed that of the United States by 2020, Arthur Cotterell provides a panoramic sweep of an empire that lasted over two millennia through the imperial capitals that were the very foundations of each dynasty. Using original Chinese sources and eyewitness accounts he provides an inside view of the rich array of characters, political and ideological tensions, and technological genius that defined the imperial capitals of China, as each in turn is revealed, explored and celebrated.
From the cosmological foundations of the first capital to the politics of empire and cataclysmic civil wars, this absorbing new book offers a level of insight indispensible for a true understanding of China today.
Praise for The Imperial Capitals of China
He handles with grace and skill the challenge of making the country's dynastic past intelligible to the laymanTimes Literary Supplement
A thoroughgoing history of China's ruling dynasties and their extraordinary achievements in architecture. The author's knowledge of Chinese dynasties is nearly encyclopedic... [his] work takes the traveler deep into the fascinating recesses of each dynastyKirkus Reviews
In addition to the political history, Sinophiles should savor Cotterell's surveys of the imperial capitalsBooklist