Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

Description - The Great Wall by John Man

The Great Wall of China is a wonder of the world. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists take the five-mile journey from Beijing to climb its battlements. While myriad photographs have made this extraordinary landmark familiar to millions more, its story remains mysterious and steeped in myth. In this riveting account, John Man travels the entire length of the Great Wall and across two millennia to find the truth behind the legends. Along the way, he delves into the remarkable and complex history of China-from the countrys tribal past, through the war with the Mongols, right up to the modern day when the Great Wall is once more a commanding emblem of China, the resurgent superpower.

Buy The Great Wall by John Man from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780306817670
ISBN-10: 0306817675
Format: Hardback
(236mm x 156mm x 36mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Da Capo Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 15-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - The Great Wall by John Man

US Kirkus Review » A learned, lively history of the Great Wall's evolution that cuts it down to size without diminishing its allure.No, you can't see it from the moon. Nor is it an unbroken, serpentine glory of many thousand kilometers, all dressed stone and watchtowers; much of it is simply rammed dirt, sometimes a yard high. As a stone curtain keeping the northern barbarians at bay it was more of a sieve, though it did have its military uses. Sinophile Man (The Terra Cotta Army, 2008, etc.) offers a close, informed reading of historical documents as well as his observations based on many hours spent Wall-side. What emerges is a shifting, kaleidoscopic portrait - cultural, geopolitical, symbolic - that puts the mighty edifice into perspective. Man suggests that the Great Wall started as an expression of Chinese expansionism, rather than protectionism. Under the First Emperor, as China moved from city-state to nation-state in the third century BCE, the Wall marked borders, but they were fairly porous; "its main function [was] to serve China's internal political purposes: to define itself, to declare its identity to itself - and to keep its own people in line." The Han dynasty added to the Wall, which by the first century BCE also served as a road to transport goods, provide traders with safe houses and garrison soldiers. The pastoral-nomadic Mongols had no use for it and let it decay during the 12th century. After pushing them from power, the Ming dynasty embarked on a 200-year building spree designed to keep the Mongols on the other side of the Wall. The author's intent is not to diminish the Wall, but to ascertain its purposes and paint its many attitudes, from rude earth-and-reed bulwark to the fairy-tale adornment of the landscape.Man presents readers with a Wall for every season, even more awe-inspiring in its workaday clothes than in its romantic garb. (Kirkus Reviews)


» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Great Wall book by John Man and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review


Author Biography - John Man

John Man is a historian and travel writer with a special interest in China and Mongolia. His several acclaimed books include Genghis Khan. He lives in the United Kingdom.

Books By John Man

Amazons by John Man
Hardback, June 2017
$38.80
Saladin by John Man
Paperback, April 2016
$22.49
Mongol Empire by John Man
Paperback, April 2015
$19.31
Marco Polo by John Man
Paperback / softback, November 2014
$27.62