A big thank you to The Seattle Book Review for giving 4.5 stars to Division to Unification in Imperial China: The Three Kingdoms to the Tang Dynasty, the second volume in the Understanding China Through Comics Series.
Division to Unification in Imperial China: The Three Kingdoms to the Tang Dynasty
We rated this book: 4.5/5
This tiny book covers about seven hundred years of Chinese history, from the fall of the Han dynasty to the fall of the Tang dynasty. Along the way, many more wars led to the rise and fall of many other dynasties, which are paraphrased in this book. But this volume includes much more than wars; it also discusses the philosophical and religious currents during that time, and particularly how these were experienced by the common people. It also talks about how the government was run, as well as cultural achievements and developments.
Written and illustrated in the form of a graphic novel, it is a great introduction to this period of Chinese history. Of course, in such a small space, it cannot be very detailed, but the illustrations help make hundreds of years of history very accessible. Within the overarching cycle of warfare during this time, you are able to begin to understand why certain political, artistic, religious, and philosophical ideas developed – how they were both born from, and in their turn influenced, their historical period. Entertaining, engaging, and informative, this is a perfect doorway for the student new to ancient China.
Reviewed By: Gretchen Wagner