The Water Kingdom

A Secret History of China

Philip Ball

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  • Ball, P: Water Kingdom

    Random House UK

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A secret history of China – a fresh new way of thinking about a people, a civilisation, an epic story.

The Water Kingdom takes us on a grand journey through China’s past and present, offering a unique window through which we can begin to grasp the overwhelming complexity and teeming energy of the country and its people.

Water is a key that unlocks much of Chinese history and thought. The ubiquitous relationship that the Chinese people have had with water has made it an enduring metaphor for philosophical thought and artistic expression. From the Han emperors to Mao, the ability to manage the waters — to provide irrigation and defend against floods — became a barometer of political legitimacy, and attempts to do so have involved engineering works on a gigantic scale. Yet the strain that economic growth is putting on its water resources today may be the greatest threat to China’s future.

The Water Kingdom is an epic, spell-binding story. Our guides are travellers and explorers, poets and painters, bureaucrats and activists, who have themselves struggled to come to terms with living in a world so shaped and permeated by water.

" What a splendid idea: to write a history of China through its relationship with water. Far-fetched you might think: not in the least, as you will find immediately you start to read this fascinating book ... You will never think of China in quite the same way again. " Martin Jacques, author of WHEN CHINA RULES THE WORLD

Philip Ball writes regularly in the scientific and popular media and worked for many years as an editor for physical sciences at Nature . His books cover a wide range of scientific and cultural phenomena, and include Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads To Another (winner of the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books), The Music Instinct , Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything, Serving The Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Science Under Hitler and Invisible: The history of the Unseen from Plato to Particle Physics .


Einband Taschenbuch
Erscheinungsdatum 04.08.2016
Verlag Random House Children's Books
Seitenzahl 352
Maße (L/B/H) 23.5/15.3/2.8 cm
Gewicht 524 g
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-84792-355-4


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