The Road to the Throne: How Liu Bang Founded China's Han Dynasty

The Road to the Throne: How Liu Bang Founded China's Han Dynasty

The Road to the Throne: How Liu Bang Founded China's Han Dynasty

The Road to the Throne: How Liu Bang Founded China's Han Dynasty

Excerpt

My goal in writing this book is to tell a story for the American people, the story of a great Chinese emperor from ancient times. Translation is a good way to convey foreign history, but in this case translation alone cannot fulfill the purpose. To round out the history, I have had to select material from a variety of biographies and organize all the different parts, sometimes using a bit of imagination to fill in details of the background and environment that would hold the narrative together; and I have used reasonable inference and drawn attention to some of the interrelations of historical events in order to present the story of this vivid character in all its full color.

Interwoven into the chronological narrative of battles fought and alliances forged, forced, or flouted, we find lessons in diplomacy and gamesmanship, examples of good leadership versus bad, hot-headed fighters versus disciplined warriors who bide their time and win the day, and examples of how to test people’s loyalty, gauge a man’s weaknesses, win over public opinion, and prevail under the most disadvantageous conditions. In an era we may think was run only by sheer force and autocratic rule, the official record teaches that the greatest achievements were won by the persons who recognized others’ talents and accepted advice, who rewarded wise subordinates, and who shared the wealth rather than playing winner-takes-all.

For English-speaking readers who are less familiar with Chinese pronunciation, I should note that different names may seem very similar to each other. However, each vowel is pronounced separately, so that Han and Haan . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.