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Understanding China through Comics, Volume 2

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2013 Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) Bronze Medal for Graphic Novel (Drama/Documentary), and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards (BOTYA) 2012 Finalist in Graphic Novels (Adult Nonfiction). Post-70s Chinese artist and entrepreneur, "Liu Jing," continues his comic series of China's 5,000-year history in "Understanding China through Comics." This second volum 2013 Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) Bronze Medal for Graphic Novel (Drama/Documentary), and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards (BOTYA) 2012 Finalist in Graphic Novels (Adult Nonfiction). Post-70s Chinese artist and entrepreneur, "Liu Jing," continues his comic series of China's 5,000-year history in "Understanding China through Comics." This second volume paints a vivid picture in answer to such questions as: What are the origins of the ethnic Chinese? Are Chinese people religious? What are the major Chinese cultural heritages and how were they created? What was China like when a centralized government fell and the empire was divided among several regional states? When people talk about "China's great restoration" and China reclaiming its place as a world superpower, what are they referring to? Why is there such a strong drinking tradition at Chinese business banquets? "Understanding China through Comics Vol. 2" begins with the massive wars during China's Age of Division and continues through the end of the Tang Dynasty -- a period in which different races, religions and philosophies come together. They fight and learn from each other, sparking new ideas and creating a new culture which continues to define the Chinese today. New perspectives on Chinese history help explain complicated chains-of-events and uncover the driving forces behind the critical changes that shaped China. Research spans classic Chinese texts and contemporary historical works, including: 'Records of the Grand Historian' by Sima Qian, the father of Chinese history; 'History of China' by pre-liberation historian Wang Tongling; 'The General History of China' by his contemporary Lu Simian; 'The Analects' of Confucius; and historical information embedded in ancient Chinese paintings. "Understanding China through Comics" includes 4 volumes: Volume 1: The Yellow Emperor through the Han Dynasty (ca. 2697 BC - 220 AD) Volume 2: The Three Kingdoms through the Tang Dynasty (220 - 907) Volume 3: The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms through the Yuan Dynasty under Mongol rule (907 - 1368) Volume 4: The Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911)


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2013 Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) Bronze Medal for Graphic Novel (Drama/Documentary), and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards (BOTYA) 2012 Finalist in Graphic Novels (Adult Nonfiction). Post-70s Chinese artist and entrepreneur, "Liu Jing," continues his comic series of China's 5,000-year history in "Understanding China through Comics." This second volum 2013 Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) Bronze Medal for Graphic Novel (Drama/Documentary), and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards (BOTYA) 2012 Finalist in Graphic Novels (Adult Nonfiction). Post-70s Chinese artist and entrepreneur, "Liu Jing," continues his comic series of China's 5,000-year history in "Understanding China through Comics." This second volume paints a vivid picture in answer to such questions as: What are the origins of the ethnic Chinese? Are Chinese people religious? What are the major Chinese cultural heritages and how were they created? What was China like when a centralized government fell and the empire was divided among several regional states? When people talk about "China's great restoration" and China reclaiming its place as a world superpower, what are they referring to? Why is there such a strong drinking tradition at Chinese business banquets? "Understanding China through Comics Vol. 2" begins with the massive wars during China's Age of Division and continues through the end of the Tang Dynasty -- a period in which different races, religions and philosophies come together. They fight and learn from each other, sparking new ideas and creating a new culture which continues to define the Chinese today. New perspectives on Chinese history help explain complicated chains-of-events and uncover the driving forces behind the critical changes that shaped China. Research spans classic Chinese texts and contemporary historical works, including: 'Records of the Grand Historian' by Sima Qian, the father of Chinese history; 'History of China' by pre-liberation historian Wang Tongling; 'The General History of China' by his contemporary Lu Simian; 'The Analects' of Confucius; and historical information embedded in ancient Chinese paintings. "Understanding China through Comics" includes 4 volumes: Volume 1: The Yellow Emperor through the Han Dynasty (ca. 2697 BC - 220 AD) Volume 2: The Three Kingdoms through the Tang Dynasty (220 - 907) Volume 3: The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms through the Yuan Dynasty under Mongol rule (907 - 1368) Volume 4: The Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911)

30 review for Understanding China through Comics, Volume 2

  1. 5 out of 5

    AP

    Even better than volume 1. I'm very impressed that he can fit thousands of years of Chinese history into graphic novels. Mr. Liu makes learning about Chinese history fun and unforgettable for both adults and kids. His history lessons flow like great stories. I couldn't put Volume 2 down and wrote this review at 3 AM after staying up to read it. As an extra bonus, the comics also have a sly, subversive humor. Very well-done. Caution for young children readers: volume 2 is more violent than volum Even better than volume 1. I'm very impressed that he can fit thousands of years of Chinese history into graphic novels. Mr. Liu makes learning about Chinese history fun and unforgettable for both adults and kids. His history lessons flow like great stories. I couldn't put Volume 2 down and wrote this review at 3 AM after staying up to read it. As an extra bonus, the comics also have a sly, subversive humor. Very well-done. Caution for young children readers: volume 2 is more violent than volume 1, mainly since volume 2 covers so many brutal wars. Disclosure: the author gave me a free e-book. My kids and I liked volume 2 so much that I bought the paper book on my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephen McDonough

    An excellent, concise, visual survey of Chinese history and culture. I really enjoyed the format of this book and the knowledge it provides.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This graphic novel of Chinese history covers the period 220-589: The Three Kingdoms 220-280; Brief Reunification: The Jin Dynasty 265-420; The Southern and Northern Dynasties 420-589; The Sui Dynasty 589-618; The golden age: The Tang Dynasty 618-907. Once again, Jing Liu has created a wonderful graphic novel treatment of Chinese history - managing to convey complex information by means of an understandable format, including information on military strategy, shifts in politics, belief systems, cu This graphic novel of Chinese history covers the period 220-589: The Three Kingdoms 220-280; Brief Reunification: The Jin Dynasty 265-420; The Southern and Northern Dynasties 420-589; The Sui Dynasty 589-618; The golden age: The Tang Dynasty 618-907. Once again, Jing Liu has created a wonderful graphic novel treatment of Chinese history - managing to convey complex information by means of an understandable format, including information on military strategy, shifts in politics, belief systems, culture. If there is one take-away from this graphic novel series it's that China seems to have a tendency to spin apart - that it may well be that the unified periods were fewer spanned less time than the periods of competing dynasties etc. It may be that the system of dynasties itself makes for this ever-recurring political and military weakness, since although the founder of a dynasty may be a strong and capable military leaders, his successors are never "guaranteed" to mirror the founder in terms of character or ability. Meanwhile, the concubine system means there's intrinsically bound to be chaos with respect to determining who the successor may be - also, various factions seemingly always emerge at Chinese courts, each pushing for their "candidate" for emperor. The splits and confusion eventually lead challengers to claim they will improve the life of the people, or unify China, or repel the barbarians (take your pick - or maybe all claims are made). They collect followers, create an army and march on the faltering dynasty - warfare ensues and the winner starts a new dynasty. The cycle repeats itself again - Jing Liu has also described how the dynastic cycle works (new dynasty/prosperity/population explosion/corruption/lack of planning/misery/famine/uprising/warfare/new dynasty). This was the pattern for millennia. Has it really been broken with the victory of the CPC? At least Mao didn't start a hereditary dynasty - that would have been too much considering the Chinese Revolution was about overthrowing feudalism/bourgeois control of the economy etc. Wasn't the Mao cult of personality deliberately fostered by the CPC to distract the populace from the hardships and errors of the CPC? Although, to be sure, the CPC was effective in other ways. The problem of succession is not altogether solved in China today. The National People's Congress just voted to remove term limits from the office of President, thus making it possible for President Xi to serve for life as President of China. Of course it is possible Xi will decide not to run again - but if he wishes to do so, he can. Allowing a head of state to rule on an indefinite basis risks the same problems that inevitably arise in a monarchical system. The risk is if a King is no good, there is no way to get rid of him - vote him out of office. Also, even if a King is good, there's a chance he may not always be good - but there's no way to remove him by means of a vote. A democracy on the other hand can remove poorly performing political figures - they simply lose the election. This system is supposed to be less liable to collapse due to poor leadership, factions, and so forth - since the political leadership is always subject to removal by means of losing an election or they are term-limited out of office. The people then decide on the next leader based on the next batch of candidates. The system is supposed to be more stable - but unfortunately, it can also lead to anomalous results, like the election of a mindless entertainer, who has no interest in public service, but rather uses the office of POTUS to enrich himself, like Donald J. Trump. The quirk that led to Trump's election is the anachronistic Electoral College system, which supposedly "balances" the votes of the less populous States against those of the more populous States. So some votes are "worth" less than others. Imagine if this system were used in Statewide or Citywide elections. No-one would stand for it. And the system is probably unconstitutional (except that it was included in the Constitution). And the system will probably never be dismantled since the majority of States are low-population States... Anyway, this graphic novel series on Chinese history is a wonderful guide to the complexities of Chinese history - perhaps "fated" to go through one dynastic convulsion after another. Why didn't the Chinese try democracy rather than keep going through the dynastic cycle - was it really a system that could not be duplicated in the East? It seems that it was up to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen to push for a democracy in China. And yet even with Dr. Sun, it was not really to be - fragmentation/warlordism set in after his resignation. The recurring turbulence in Chinese history makes the Chinese achievement even more impressive. At least there were some areas of continuity - thinkers/philosophers/teachers, fine artists, poets and authors, architectural and engineering wonders - despite the unending political/military discontinuity. The dynastic ups and downs are part of China, too, just as the above achievements. I guess the Chinese have adjusted to unending change over the centuries - perhaps that makes them more flexible and philosophical in the end. Certainly, socially, they are extremely resilient - and the model of the family seems to extend to how the group in general is treated. This may be why socialism was so well-received, perhaps remains the dream of the leadership even today, in the age of "capitalist" expansion. If a government can mobilize millions to (relatively) quickly accomplish enormous engineering feats, under the dynastic system, the same mass mobilization under socialism is inevitable and maybe not such a bad thing for such a large and populous nation. I would recommend this series to anyone who is interested in learning about the long and complex (and never dull) history of China. The quotes: "Among contemporary Chinese, the Three Kingdoms is one of the best-known historical eras, thanks to 'The Romance of the Three Kingdoms,' a novel published in the 14th century. The book is famous for its opening line: Anything long divided with surely unite, and anything long united will surely divide." "In the Three Kingdoms period, the rival states competed to grant generous political and financial privileges to the gentry[:]... "If you support our war efforts with food and labor, you are exempt from taxes and your children will have important government jobs."" "[Philosophical debates under the Wei.] The strength of a state comes from a deep understanding of how a society functions." "[Under the Wei, the Profound Learning philosophers sometimes went to extremes.] They resorted to a type of drug, the Powder of Five Minerals, which induced hallucinations, fevers, and visions previously never experienced." "Heavy drinking was praised as an achievement and a sign of nobility. "A man should stand as straight as a pine tree; when drunk, he should fall like the landslide of a great mountain." "Philosophical debates lift one's spirit; spirits cultivate one's taste." "A man of principle should go all the way, in drink and song, living a carefree life, in pursuit of the ultimate truth." This sense of free thinking has resonated in China till today." "[Under the Jin] Land privatization widened the rich-poor disparity." "Rich families bought more lands and got richer. Their social activities and lifestyles were documented by a tabloid publication of the time, 'A New Account of the Tales of the World.'" "In this time of uncertainty [loss of a portion of the Jin territory to northern nomads, and the rise of factions] many Eastern Jin aristocrats became disillusioned with politics. "A gentleman should withdraw from politics and learn to find happiness in poetry, music, art, and philosophy."" "One of the most renowned literary works of the Eastern Jin was the 'Preface to the poems composed at the Orchard Pavilion,' by Wang Xizhi, a military general from a noble family. He was later regarded as the "Sage" of Chinese calligraphy." "In the 'Preface' he wrote: Times can change, the world can change, but people's fundamental nature will remain the same. Life is short, and one's definition of happiness often changes, but everyone will have to face this question one day: what is the meaning of life?" "In 383, [the Former Qin (North) and Eastern Jin (South)] ... fought a life and death battle at Fei River. [Former Qin strategy included] Use the Eastern Jin as an external enemy to help unite different tribes." "In this time of widespread suffering [during the time of the Southern and Northern Dynasties 420-589], Buddhism, a religion from a foreign land, offered a remedy that was radically different from the Chinese solutions." "Buddhist study and meditation were not easy, so a Chinese scholar-turned-monk, Tanluan, decided to find a shortcut to enlightenment. "It's too difficult for an individual to achieve enlightenment. Most people still need help from Buddha." With the support of a Northern Wei emperor and help from Indian monks, Tanluan founded Pure Land Buddhism. "Any true follower will be reborn into the Pure Land of Utmost Bliss." "There, you can continue working on enlightenment without any deadline or pressure." ""The Pure Land is ruled by Amitabha Buddha." "To prepare yourself for the Pure Land, you only need to recite the Buddha's name." Buddha statues cropped up everywhere. Believers started to worship Buddha like a god." "Other Buddhist scholars and monks resisted: "Buddhism doesn't believe in God." "True Buddhism is about individual salvation, you can't rely on others." "The universe is not created or ruled by a supernatural being." "Enlightenment must come from your own hard work, experience, and reason." "Nonetheless, Pure Land Buddhism became very popular among ordinary Chinese. There were 2 million monks and nuns by the end of Northern Wei. Today it's the most popular branch of Buddhism in China, Japan, and South Korea." "Stimulated by Buddhism, southern aristocrats sparked a movement that would lead to the rise of religious Taoism, which shared the same core as early Taoist philosophy: Tao. The concept of the Tao was created by Laozi, the founder of philosophical Taoism. It is not known for certain when Laozi actually lived. "Some scholars believe he was once a teacher of Confucius."" "[Laozi:] "The Tao can't be expressed in words. I just use the name Tao for teaching purposes."" "[Laozi:] "I can tell you what it does." The Tao created one, one created two, two created three, and three created the world as we know it." "Laozi's original version of what these numbers represented, if it ever existed, was no longer known, leaving lots of room for interpretation." "[An interpretation.] "The Tao not only creates things, it also abides in everything. It keeps our society balanced and ordered." "The Taoist ideal is that everyone can feel the Tao and live in harmony with it, avoiding actions that would disturb it." "Laozi's original ideas were recorded in the 'Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing),' or the Book of the Tao and its Power. It later became the core doctrine for religious Taoists." "But to Ge Hong, a minor aristocrat of the Jin Dynasty, the Taoist bible was missing something. "The Tao Te Ching only contains around 5000 words." "It's too general, there's too much guessing."" "Around 317, he finished his most important masterpiece. "The Master Who Embraces Simplicity" "The book's title comes from my pen name." "The book had 20 "Inner Chapters" and 50 "Outer Chapters." "The Inner Chapters take a Taoist perspective: they talk about immortals and techniques for becoming one[:].. Philosophy, alchemy, meditation, Taoist yoga, breathing exercises, sexual techniques, Chinese medicine, magic skills..." "The Outer Chapters take a Confucian perspective: they discuss social and political topics[:].. Government and politics, law, literature, education and scholarship..." "Ge Hong had many contemporaries who contributed to the Taoist movement and helped create many Chinese healing and spiritual arts. Feng Shui[:] A Chinese art to gather Qi from any productive source to bring good luck, health, and wealth. The earliest discussion of feng shui was in the 'Book of Burial' by Guo Pu. "Following the principles of feng shui, you can find the right tomb site to gather Qi from the deceased, to benefit the living."" "Chinese medicine. Qigong[:] An exercise to balance Qi (life force) for healing or meditation. Acupuncture. These topics were part of the 'Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon,' a major book of Taoist practices and the earliest Chinese medical text. The original book was lost in wars. A scholar-physician, Huangfu Mi, compiled what the could save into a version that has survived till today." "[Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty in south China] ...finally chose Buddhism as the state religion, with Liang characteristics. "Buddhism should have Confucian virtues, such as loyalty and filial piety." "Buddhists should respect their parents and devote their lives to their country." "Really? True Buddhists must cut all family and social ties if they are to pursue enlightenment."" "For generations, nobles of the Xianbei and other nomad tribes intermarried with the Chinese elites. Eventually several different ethnicities identified themselves as Han Chinese. Today, the Han Chinese account for 92% of the people in China, or 20% of the world population. It is the single largest ethnic group on earth." "To make sure there was enough land to assign, the Sui enforced a northern 'equal-field system.' "In the system, the central government owns the land and assigns it to families." "In return, people pay taxes to the state or become militia members."" "The Sui system worked. By 588, the Sui had amassed an army of 518,000." "The Sui reformed and adapted the systems of governance appropriated from the Chinese. The imperial examination system[:] Before: Candidates for official posts were recommended and evaluated by aristocrats. Now: Everyone can be considered for a post by taking standardized tests. "Now it's harder for great families to manipulate the process to get their own people in the government. This keeps power better centralized." Test subjects: Confucian classics, current affairs." "The three departments and six ministries system. Before: One chancellor for the central government. Now: Three chancellors from three departments to watch each other. Six ministries: Personnel, Revenue, Rites, War, Justice, Works. The Sui government systems were so effective that they were employed by later dynasties for another 1300 years." "The Sui transformed the country with huge projects: 1. Rebuilt the Great Wall to fence off nomads that followed the Xianbei tribes to China. 2. National granaries with enough food to feed th ewhole country for 50 years. 3. A new capital city, Chang'an. 4. Second capital at Luoyang. 5. Completed the Grand Canal." "The Grand Canal is still the longest artificial river ever built. About 2000 km long! [From Zhuojun (Beijing) crossing the Yellow River (Luoyang is on the Yellow River to the East of the canal crossing) and the Yangtze River to Yuhang (Hangzhou).] It took 5 million men and women 5 years to complete. Its main function was to supply food to the two capitals and to Sui troops in north China." "After securing its borders, the Sui went on to force all nomad neighbors into submission, except a small state in northeast Asia, the Goguryeo Korean kingdom." "The Sui launched 4 major invasions of Goguryeo within 16 years. The results were devastating. The Sui army suffered millions of deaths, followed by sweeping revolts across China." "The mighty Sui Dynasty collapsed before the small Korean state. "Who are these Goguryeo?"" "During the Age of Division, the Goguryeo grew into a centralized empire, expanding its territory into northeast China." "[Once the Goguryeo breached the temporary dam they had constructed upstream on the Salsu River] The fully equipped Sui soldiers [crossing the river] could no longer keep their balance." "Men in tight formation started to fall down. Some drowned." "By the time they realized what was happening, the Sui soldiers in the water could not reach either bank. The Sui forces were cut in half by the river." "Panic ensued. At that moment the Korean cavalry charged." "The Chinese who had crossed the river were cut down like grass. The men mired in the mud were shot by Korean archers. The remaining Sui soldiers retreated, suffering ambush after ambush as they fled." "Of the initial 305,000 men, only 2,700 made it back to China. The Sui army never returned to the Salsu River." "[Under the Tang Dynasty] Bulging merchant ships sailed in and out of Chinese ports. "From Guangzhou to the Red Sea."" "The imperial capitol, Chang'an, became a world center of trade and culture." "With [Empress] Wu Zetian's support, China became the center of Buddhism, attracting students, scholars, and pilgrims from all over Asia." "Buddhist temples gained great economic power and served many social functions[:]... Charity, education, health care, entertainment, lodging, and banking (giving loans to poor people)." "Huineng, the sixth and last patriarch of Chan Buddhism (Zen in English)." ""According To legend, Master Huineng is from a poor family and he's illiterate." The fifth Chan patriarch Master Hongren, was about to select this successor at East Mountain Temple in 661. On the day of the final exam, a dozen of his students were asked to write down how they understood Chan Buddhism. "The winner will be my successor."" "His top student wrote a poem on the wall. The body is the tree of enlightenment, The mind is a mirror, Polish them at all times, So no dust can settle. Everyone was impressed, including the master." "Huineng, a worker in the temple kitchen overheard their conversation." "After everyone was gone, Huineng went to the wall. Suddenly he had an idea." "He stopped a scholar passing by. "Sir, could you help me write down my poem? I'm illiterate..." "Are you crazy? If you can't write, how can you compose a poem?" "With all due respect, sir, whether one is illiterate or a scholar means nothing in the face of enlightenment." The scholar nodded. "The next day, Huineng's poem created a big stir. Enlightenment is not a tree, Nor the mind a mirror, Look beyond all illusions, Where can dust actually settle?" "Huineng ran south and started his preaching. "To achieve awakening, you don't have to read, write, go to a temple, or go to India." "Everything of the material world is temporary, oppressive, and merely an illusion." "The path to enlightenment is simply in your heart, beyond logic and reasoning." "When meditating, don't set any goals." "Just watch the stream of your thoughts without interfering." "[Tang Emperor] Xuanzong established a poetry academy, attracting such famous poets as Li Bai and Du Fu, two of the greatest Chinese poets of all time. "Also make poetry the most important subject in the imperial examination.""

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn (Dragon Bite Books)

    With all the information of at least several classes’ worth of PowerPoint presentations delivered alongside detailed, occasionally humorous illustrations, Jing Liu tries to un-muddle the complicated entanglements of several centuries of Chinese history in Understand China Through Comics, Volume 2. With frequent references to the contemporary world, this would be a great companion text for a class or the casually interested student of life (like me). China’s is a history that has been sadly negle With all the information of at least several classes’ worth of PowerPoint presentations delivered alongside detailed, occasionally humorous illustrations, Jing Liu tries to un-muddle the complicated entanglements of several centuries of Chinese history in Understand China Through Comics, Volume 2. With frequent references to the contemporary world, this would be a great companion text for a class or the casually interested student of life (like me). China’s is a history that has been sadly neglected in my American public school education, and I leapt at the chance to try to rectify that void in my schooling and was glad to win a copy of this book through Goodreads. Jing Liu’s text covers the Age of Division and the Sui and Tang Dynasties (220-907 CE). It gives me the springboards that I will need for further research. I do not think this is a text that should be used alone. Jing Liu attempts as often as possible to explain causes and effects and political nuances of historical events, but in the interest of simplicity, does not explain as much as I’d like to know or as much as a more textually dependent textbook could do. Certainly, this is one of the more fun textbooks it has ever been my pleasure to read. I need not wade through the masses of dull explanation for a reward, but am given some little thing to make me smile on every page. This text uses relatively simple language, though is rife with names of tribes and kingdoms and leaders. It is a text probably for a late elementary or middle school student, but could be enjoyed by elder readers too (ages 10+). Easily a 3.5 star book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sukumar Honkote

    Despite being an Indian, China was always a mystery to me. I was extremely lucky when I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. The comics have been drawn really well and are extremely witty. Instead of just using the comics to reemphasize the text, the author has used them to give more information regarding the text. I felt that the comics were used most expertly in dealing with the topic and I quite a lot more of the content because of the comics. Another special thing tha Despite being an Indian, China was always a mystery to me. I was extremely lucky when I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. The comics have been drawn really well and are extremely witty. Instead of just using the comics to reemphasize the text, the author has used them to give more information regarding the text. I felt that the comics were used most expertly in dealing with the topic and I quite a lot more of the content because of the comics. Another special thing that I liked a lot was that the author pointed out the origin in history of current Chinese aspects. The book covers a lot of facts on religion and philosophy in China and teaches the distinction between Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The book is rife with the various wars and kingdoms in China. There are maps at frequent intervals for readers to relate well to the history. More information about the science, arts and way of life of commoners during those times would have been an icing on the cake. Overall, it is a must read book if one wants to understand China. I have never enjoyed history as much as I did when reading this book. Kudos to the author for making such a book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Josiah

    Have you ever wanted to learn more about China and its history but been too overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information? Well this book presents Chinese history, facts, people and places in an easy to grasp format - comics! Even the seasoned Sinologist will pick up a few new tidbits of information or get a clearer view of the big picture. After reading through the book once, 24 hours later I could still recall how many splits the Three Kingdoms went through, how the Koreans defended their cou Have you ever wanted to learn more about China and its history but been too overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information? Well this book presents Chinese history, facts, people and places in an easy to grasp format - comics! Even the seasoned Sinologist will pick up a few new tidbits of information or get a clearer view of the big picture. After reading through the book once, 24 hours later I could still recall how many splits the Three Kingdoms went through, how the Koreans defended their country, and why Buddhism is different in China versus India. And I wasn't even TRYING to memorize the information! Plot: B Writing: B Vocabulary: A Level: Easy Rating: PG (Warfare) Worldview: neutral observation This copy reviewed for free thanks to GoodReads FirstReads program!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Siv

    This book made educational reading fun. It's funny, easy to understand, and informative. My favorite thing about this book would have to be the facial expressions on the characters :) I won this book through a First Reads giveaway. This book made educational reading fun. It's funny, easy to understand, and informative. My favorite thing about this book would have to be the facial expressions on the characters :) I won this book through a First Reads giveaway.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Still find this series unbelievable - succinctly capturing hundreds of years of Chinese history in a few hundred pages!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Lebeouf

    This book helped me understand more about China's expansive history. This book helped me understand more about China's expansive history.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    See my review of Volume 1.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

  12. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

  13. 5 out of 5

    智霖

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pandiyaraj karuppasamy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Tipper

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jake

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sky

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Linden

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matt W

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carl Purcell

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  24. 4 out of 5

    Zhi Ruo

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sam Julian

  26. 5 out of 5

    Snowhunter

  27. 4 out of 5

    Duncan Mchale

  28. 4 out of 5

    Miroku Nemeth

  29. 4 out of 5

    Supratentorial

  30. 4 out of 5

    Darren Mitton

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