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BOOKS

The Great Wall

China Against the World 1000 BC - AD 2000

Julia Lovell

RRP: £9.99

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781843542155

Legendarily 2,200 years old and 4,300 miles long, China’s Great Wall seems to be a confident physical statement made by an advanced civilization, anxious to draw a line between itself and the ‘barbarians’ at its borders. But behind the Wall’s intimidating exterior, and the myths that have built up around it, lies a history far more fragmented and far less illustrious than its crowds of modern-day tourists might imagine.

In this epic history exploring the conquests and cataclysms of the Chinese empire over the past 3,000 years, Julia Lovell restores a human dimension to this astonishing structure: examining the emperors who planned new phases of building; the people who constructed, lived and guarded the walls; and the millions who died – of overwork, starvation, cold and combat. The Great Wall is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand China’s past, present and future.