Lion and Dragon
Lawrence James

Lion and Dragon

This is the history of a clash of civilisations and a spectacular reversal of fortunes. In 1839 Britain went to war with China: it saw itself as the advance guard of a superior civilisation, the first industrial nation with a duty to  extend the blessings of Europe's intellectual, scientific and technical to the rest of the world. Free Trade was part of the package, China too saw itself as the superior civilisation which rested on quietism and a reverence for tradition. China lost the Opium war and Britain took charge of China's reluctant passage into the modern world and drew the country into its unofficial empire of coercive persuasion and influence. Within a hundred and fifty years the positions of the two powers had been reversed. Britain's empire disappeared and her global power was greatly diminished. Now, China takes Britain's place as an inventive, industrial superpower and offers Britain investment and technology. The history of this transformation is a dramatic and bloody narrative of rebellions, wars, and diplomatic chicanery which traumatised China and shaped her contemporary view of the world and her position in it. Every Chinese boy and girls learns the history of the unequal treaties and invasions their country endured and their memory still drives China's relations with the world, in particulae the former world. The Lion and the Dragon will be essential reading for everyone who travels to China for business or pleasure.

Book Details:

  • Author: Lawrence James
  • On Submission
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Weidenfeld

Lawrence James

Lawrence James was a founder member of York University and then took a research degree at Merton College, Oxford. After a distinguished teaching career he became a full-time writer in 1985 and has emerged as one of the outstanding narrative historians of his generation. His books include Crimea: The War with Russia in Contemporary Photographs, The Savage Wars: British Campaigns in Africa 1870-1920, Mutiny: Mutinies in British and Commonwealth Forces 1797-1956 and Imperial Rearguard: The Last Wars of Empire.Lawrence James edited the Daily Telegraph British Empire supplement (1997) and was th...
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