Done in typical "Eyewitness" format, this volume touches upon such topics as Chinese history, the first emperor, inventions, health and medicine, waterways, food and drink, clothing, the Silk Road, and arts and crafts. Material from as recent as the last dynasty, which ended in 1911, is included; because all of the information is presented in double-page spreads, some cover extremely wide time frames. Reproductions of Chinese paintings and prints, while in full color, are sometimes so small as to be virtually useless. Confucianism is incorrectly called a religion; likewise the Great Wall is attributed to the first emperor rather than to Ming times. Given these limitations, the book will nonetheless be popular for browsing.
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