Shortly before noon on October 28, 1728, General Yue Zhongqi, the most powerful military and civilian official in northwest China, was en route to his headquarters. Suddenly, out of the crowd, a stranger ran toward Yue and passed him an envelope-an envelope containing details of a treasonous plot to overthrow the Manchu government.
This thrilling story of a conspiracy against the Qing dynasty in 1728 is a captivating tale of intrigue and a fascinating exploration of what it means to rule and be ruled. Once again, Jonathan Spence has created a vivid portrait of the rich culture that surrounds a most dramatic moment in Chinese history.
"An infectiously readable narrative . . . on a par with bestselling works of historical reconstruction such as Dava Sobel's Longitude . . . Eighteenth-century China springs to life." (The Dallas Morning News)
"A slice of history told in the lively manner of a novel." (Ian Buruma, The New York Times Book Review)
"A work of history that pulses with emotion, with vital characters re-created vividly, with complex situations lucidly unraveled, with irony underscored. His straightforward prose style and use of the historic present give his work an engrossing immediacy. It is history of the best kind." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
[Treason by the Book]...is executed with great skill and insight.