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The First Emperor of China [Paperback]

Jonathan Clements
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Feb 2007
The true story of Ying Zheng: the man who unified China, built the Great Wall, and whose tomb is guarded by the famous Terracotta Army.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; New edition edition (15 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750939605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750939607
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 719,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Clements is the author of many books on East Asian history, including biographies of emperors and empresses, statesmen and warriors, foreign visitors and outcast rebels. His works have been translated into over a dozen languages, including French, Spanish, Korean and Dutch, and he achieved a rare distinction when his book on the First Emperor of China was itself published in Chinese.

Product Description

About the Author

Jonathan Clements is the author, co-author or translator of over thirty books, including The Moon in the Pines, Confucius: A Biography and Pirate King: Coxinga and the Fall of the Ming Dynasty.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The rise and fall of Ying Zheng 4 Nov 2006
I came to this book having seen a couple of documentaries on the First Emperor and so knew something of his history but this book goes into much greater detail about his life, the wider empire of China and the important figures in his life. Also detailing the events that led to the First Emperors birth and those following his death the book is not only a great source of information on the person of the First Emperor but also on the China of the period in general. The book also includes appendices on the portrayals of the First Emperor on film and TV, as well as family trees for the first Emperor and notes on names and titles of the period. Jonathan Clements does well to present the information in a well informed and easy to read manner that is accessible.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and easy to read book 19 Mar 2006
Only half way through this book at the minute but will update review when finished.
Firstly the only real criticism I can come up with for this book and that is the photography’s of the emperor's works and wall hangings are in black and white. In this day photographs in hardback books should be in colour considering how much extra we pay for the hardback edition.
The pluses are many so far, the book is very well written, a lot of information is contained within an easy to read format. The author makes great judgements on his sources and isn’t afraid to let the read make up his own mind on his opinion. There is an almost stay to the next page feeling from this book, a feeling that going to bed without reading the next page will leave you with a bad nights sleep.
I can’t help but advise this book to anyone, have already advised my Grandmother on a purchase.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 25 Aug 2007
This book is full of history and an honest and well researched account of the first Emperor of China. For Jonathan Clements this project must have been very difficult. To find and research on a topic where there are not many entries or much written about he has done well and wrote a informative book about the life of the very first Emperor of China.

After hard work the first emperor decided to be called an 'Emperor' rather then a king. Giving himself the name of the ruler of the world. It was his passion to rule the world and to capture as many countries as he could. He died young and was beginning to achieve his success. He wanted to hand over his reins to his son and after his closest associate changed the will of the first emperor, the wrong son was made Emperor. The son has predicted to loose all his father has achieved. The son that was supposed to be emperor was forced to commit suicide as he thought this was what his father wanted. The First emperor's dynasty lasted only a decade.

Worth the read and a true account of the Chinese history.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed by a patchwork of articles 24 Aug 2010
This book is a patchwork of articles, some over the emperor, some over the legendary foundations o the dynasty, other over the legal system in China, the discovery of the terracota warriors, the building of he wall, and so on. If there was a tread, i failed to see it.
If you are looking for a biography of the first emperor of China, you will be disappointed.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb book, although.... 14 April 2009
This is a very good effort by Clements. The book is easy to read and packed with interesting information. Historical facts are well laid out and convincing arguments provided for some of the more ambiguous points of the Emperor's political career. I do wonder if a more apropos title would be 'The world of the first Emperor' as at times the book reads more like a general overview of Imperial China rather than a political biography. The result is that the book lacks any real passion and the Emperor comes across as a rather bland individual.

This said, a good read.
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