Book Review on the Last Manchu

Topics: Puyi, Qing Dynasty, Forbidden City Pages: 3 (1098 words) Published: August 28, 2013
Book Review:
The Last Manchu
Autobiography of Henry Pu Yi, Last Emperor of China
Edited by: Paul Kramer

Submitted by: Tiffany Joy A. Candelaria
2 History

I. Brief Summary
This book is an autobiography of a man who became The Emperor of the Manchu Dynasty, at two years of age, named Henry Pu Yi. He lived a life as an emperor up until China’s government became republic and seized his powers. Until then, he continued his life back in Tientsin and tried to continue his legacy by being head of a Japanese puppet state. In spite of all his hard work, he still encountered a lot of temptations along the way and problems which is the hardest to solve. This story narrates the unusual social transitions of a man who was born ordinary, became an emperor and marched off the throne to once again live in mediocrity.

II. Theme
Citizenship and governing China.

III. Thesis of the Book
A life of richness and fame to a life totally disordered. This heroic man challenges himself to battle the harshness of the world.

IV. Description
China in the 19th century was a nation in decline, severely controlled by the western powers Britain and France leading to the First and Second Opium Wars. China experienced defeat several times and had to hand over Hong Kong, Korea, Formosa, and Port Arthur. It is during the Manchu dynasty that the country was convulsed by disturbances. The last days of the Manchu dynasty were marked by civil unrest and foreign invasions. To respond to the civil failures, the Qing Imperial Court attempted to reform the government. However, many of the measures were opposed and many reformers were either imprisoned or executed. The failures of the Imperial Court caused the reformists to take the road of revolution. Revolutionary groups like, the Taiping Rebellion which was the greatest social upheaval of the 19th century China and the revolution by Sun Yat-sen. The principle of Nationalism overthrew the Manchus and ending the foreign...
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