The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China

TitleThe Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSilbey, David J.
Number of Pages289
PublisherHill and Wang
CityNew York

The Boxer Rebellion was a violent anti-foreign, anti-colonial, and anti-Christian uprising that took place in China between 1899 and 1901. Drawing on the diaries and letters of allied soldiers and diplomats, the author paints a vivid portrait of the war. In China, a perennial pawn in world geopolitics, a mysterious group of superstitious peasants started launching attacks on Western powers they feared were corrupting their country. These ordinary Chinese -- called Boxers by the West because of their martial arts showmanship -- rose up seemingly out of nowhere. Foreshadowing the insurgencies of our recent past, they lacked a centralized leadership and instead tapped into latent nationalism and deep economic frustration to build their army. Many experts brushed off the Boxer Rebellion as an ill-conceived and easily defeated revolt, but in this volume, the author shows just how close the Boxers came to beating back the combined might of the imperial powers. Although the Boxers' cause ended just as quickly as it began, the Boxers would inspire Chinese nationalists -- including a young Mao Zedong -- for decades to come.

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