The great city of Beijing, capital of China from the ninth century, was for a millennium one of the most extraordinary places on earth. At a time when London, Paris, or Rome had only several hundred thousand residents, Beijing held over a million. This book tells the history of this great city, and through it provides a highly engaging summary history of China.,,In the summer of 1997, President Jiang Zemin made a decision to destroy Beijing. There was no announcement, no explanation given, nor any attempt made to justify his decision. Even those working as architects only became aware of what was happening when it was already too late. Expertly moving between historical analysis and reportage, Jasper Becker describes the impact of this systematic destruction, a unique telling of the city's history that encapsulates both the grandeur of its creation and the tragedy of its demise.
The thrilling biography of climbing legend Mo Anthoine by his fellow adventurer, the poet and journalist, Al Alvarez. Anthoine was an energetic, unpretentious and amusing man who described the desire to climb as a rat constantly gnawing at him that he was compelled to feed. This is an epic story of a true adventurer.
Ai Weiwei – the Chinese curator, poet and artist whose Sunflower seeds installation at the Tate Modern sealed his reputation as a global art star – has been detained for ‘economic crimes’ since April 3rd 2011. Throughout his career, he has remained fearlessly critical of the Chinese authoritarian regime and an outspoken advocate of political and artistic freedom. In this series of interviews, Ai Weiwei discusses his artistic life, his infamous blogs and a childhood spent in exile. Complex, thought-provoking and essential reading.
This is most widely read Hindu text in the world. An extract from the Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata, it tells of Krishna leading the warrior Arjuna into understanding. This edition from OUP contains an introduction, explanatory notes and an index of Sanskrit names.
Mira Kamdar explores the cultural and economic impact of the new, modern India on the rest of the world. Hers is the India of Slumdog Millionaire and Booker prize-winning Aravind Adiga: call centres, Bollywood glamour, the youngest population in the world, absurdly rich corporate businessmen and third-world conditions for the majority of the population. Fascinating, contemporary exploration of the threats and opportunities that India represents, both nationally and internationally.
What better way to travel to Japan than accompanied by extracts from the greatest Japanese writers who have done the same. From Hino Keizo's Tokyo to Atoda Takashi's Kyoto, these stories are mesmerising and beautifully written.
The sayings of Confucius form the foundation of a social, ethical and intellectual system that is still very influential today. This new translation, with chronology and explanatory notes, is the perfect introduction to his philosophy.
This is an absorbing, compassionate collection of Guardian articles written by Xinran concerning all things Chinese, from food to sex. An entertaining and uniquely insightful glimpse into modern China.
Written in the 1920s, Gandhi's autobiography tells of his long fight for truth and independence while upholding his commitment to non-violence. Self-deprecating, honest and hypnotic, surely the story of this man's struggle is obligatory reading for the Indiophile.
Unlike Kipling's autobiography and his immortal image as the patriotic, paternalist poet, this is the story of his somewhat rebellious youth, his controversial writings and his sympathy for the British lower classes in India. Refreshing, re-evaluation of a much-loved author and the country he so adored.
Karen Armstrong, a former nun, is a highly-respected historian and biographer of comparative religions. Here she brings her usual balanced, objective voice to the life of Buddha and his teachings. A rigorous and refreshing introduction.
The powerful story of how Xinran stood up to tradition and broke through bureaucratic restrictions to launch her highly successful radio programme where Chinese women called in and talked about what it meant to be a woman in modern China. A courageous and determined woman whose book is a sometimes shocking, always insightful, exploration of the unspoken history and modern reality of China.