Struggle for Empire : The Battles of General Zuo Zongtang, Hardback Book

Struggle for Empire : The Battles of General Zuo Zongtang Hardback


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Struggle for Empire provides the first comprehensive modern biography in English of the late Qing dynasty statesman, strategist, and military commander, Zuo Zongtang (1812-1885).

A national hero in China, Zuo’s remarkable story remains understudied in the West. Author Kenneth Swope traces Zuo's unlikely rise from poverty and obscurity in rural Hunan province to become the most powerful Han Chinese official in Manchu China.

Zuo embodied a new practical type of Chinese official, grounded in the study of military history and strategic geography, who realized that the secret to China’s survival was to both live up to traditional Confucian norms and expectations while also adapting science and technology from the West. Zuo also pushed for self-strengthening, building China’s first modern naval yard and setting up arsenals, silk factories, and publishing houses across China.

Zuo also helped the Qing put down the greatest civil war in human history, the Taiping Rebellion.


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