Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom

  • by Stephen R. Platt
  • Narrated by Angela Lin
  • 17 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Stephen R. Platt is widely respected for his incisive nonfiction, particularly in regard to his knowledge and understanding of China. With Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom, Platt details the absorbing narrative of the Taiping Rebellion, which resulted in the loss of 20 million lives. Occurring in the 1850s, this is the story of a cultural movement characterized by intriguing personages such as influential military strategist Zeng Guofan and brilliant Taiping leader Hong Rengan.


What the Critics Say

“China’s brutal Taiping Civil War erupted in the 1850s and raged until the fall of rebel-held Nanjing in 1864. The bloodbath paralleled our own North-South conflict, but dwarfed it in terms of casualties, geography and global fallout . . . [Platt] juxtaposes the competing ideologies and leaders of the ruling Manchu Qing dynasty and the Hunan Taiping rebels with savvy and assurance. By neatly folding in the machinations of the British, Platt paints a picture of combat dire enough to have choked the Yangtze’s flow several times with discarded victims.” (Jonathan E. Lazarus, Newark Star-Ledger)
“Splendid . . . An upheaval that led to the deaths of 20 million, dwarfing the simultaneously fought American Civil War, deserves to be better known, and Platt accomplishes this with a superb history of a 19th-century China faced with internal disorder and predatory Western intrusions.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
“Stephen Platt brings to vivid life a pivotal chapter in China’s history that has been all but forgotten: the Taiping Rebellion in the mid-nineteenth century, which cost one of the greatest losses of life of any war in history. It had far-reaching consequences that still reverberate in contemporary China. Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom is a fascinating work by a first-class historian and superb writer.” (Henry Kissinger)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

InTOLerable Reader

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The book was fascinating. An interesting description of a little known (in the west) period of chinese history.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Angela Lin?

Almost anyone, I think. Ms. Lin puts a heavy, portentous emphasis on almost every other word. It's intolerable, and it makes the book pretty much unlistenable. The READING DESTROYS all PLEASURE in the BOOK. You get the point.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?


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- Adam

Painful to listen

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I could not get more than a couple of chapters into this. The narrator is truly awful, and makes the entire book unlistenable. It's a shame, because the subject is very interesting.\

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- William

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-15-2012
  • Publisher: Recorded Books