Unifier or destroyer, law-maker or tyrant? China’s First Emperor (258-210 BC) has been the subject of debate for over 2,000 years. He gave us the name by which China is known in the West and, by his unification or elimination of six states, he created imperial China. He stressed the rule of law but suppressed all opposition, burning books and burying scholars alive. His military achievements are reflected in the astonishing terracotta soldiers—a veritable buried army—that surround his tomb, and his Great Wall still fascinates the world.
Despite his achievements, however, the First Emperor has been vilified since his death. China's First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors describes his life and times and reflects the historical arguments over the real founder of China and one of the most important men in Chinese history.
Praise for China's First Emporer and His Terracotta Warriors
‘Wood’s book is a readable introduction to a ruler who has been hailed both as his country’s founding father and vilified as a ruthless tyrant.’ – Sunday Times
‘Fascinating book’ – Mail on Sunday
‘great knowledge, lightly worn.’ Literary Review
‘wry, concise and authoritative.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘timely, and as sensible as it is concise.’ The Independent
‘Frances Wood presents a different portrait China's First Emporer, offering good reasons why myths of cruelty and megalomania should not be entirely believed.’ Metro
‘Essential reading and a colourful insight into a world in the making.’ – The Good Book Guide
‘a timely digest of English-language scholarship on the subject.’ – The Times
‘Wood’s thorough analysis of the history is heightened by sensuous descriptions that, along with poems, recipes and other quirky details, provide a vivid evocation of life in this period.’ - Waterstones’ Books Quarterly
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“Profound but elegant scholarship, supported by a multitude of authoritative, perplexed sources, and aided by a dry engaging wit.”— Spectator (UK)
“Wonderfully lucid.”— Economist (UK)
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“A superb book.”—Evening Standard (UK)
“A first-rate account...superbly written and entertaining.”—The Times (UK)