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Wu: The Chinese Empress Who Schemed, Seduced and Murdered Her Way to Become a Living God [Hardcover]

Jonathan Clements
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Feb 2007
This is the true story of Wu Zetian, the only reigning empress in Chinese history, who schemed, poisoned and strangled her way to become a living god.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; 1st Edition edition (15 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750939613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750939614
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 270,598 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 of Pirate King, Confucius and The First Emperor of China, as well as children's books on Chinese history and religion. He is a contributing editor to Newtype USA magazine, and the recipient of a Japan Festival Award for outstanding contributions to the understanding of Japanese culture.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book about a fascinating woman 11 July 2008
This excellent biography is about a curious woman, ahead of her time; the infamous Empress Wu, who ruled China for a number of decades during the seventh century.

The various stunts and schemes she devised in order to obtain power are fascinating, ghoulish and always interesting to read about. This well-written book paints a very vivid picture of a very shrewd woman who ruled powerfully and uncompromisingly. It also describes the events and ideas which mark Empress Wu out as one of the first and most important figures of female emancipation.

This is a truly entertaining but also very informative book, well worth a read for those who enjoy reading about interesting people.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph! 24 May 2007
This book is wonderful. Despite the rather dramatic title, the author is in fact very objective towards Wu. Although she did scheme and bully her way to absolute power, one cant help admiring Wu despite her tyranny. In an age dominated by weak men it was a great achievement for a woman to obtain such power and Wu's determination and tenacious ambition can only be applauded.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great and informative read 17 Oct 2009
I am a great fan of Chinese history and one of my favourite parts of that long history is the political manoeuvring and plots at the courts of the various Emperors and the life of Wu Zhao had plenty to keep me interested. The Empress Wu is the only women in history of China ever to rule the country in her own name and was considered by many of her contemporaries to be one of the most evil women who ever lived. Starting off as a minor wife to one Emperor, the chief wife of a seconded and through various plots and intrigues eventually ceasing power from her own son and eventually set herself up as a living god.

This book is very well written and was very easy to read. The book tries to be even handed to Wu, trying to find both the good and the bad in her plots and character and doing its best to wade through some of the anti-Wu propaganda spread by her successors. The book seems well researched with some informative notes and appendices for a timeline of events and notes on names. As with the previous Jonathan Clements book that I read `The First Emperor of China' I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if anything it has only deepened my interest in Chinas rich history.
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