Perpetual Happiness: The Ming Emperor Yongle

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University of Washington Press, 2011 M07 1 - 286 pages

The reign of Emperor Yongle, or “Perpetual Happiness,” was one of the most dramatic and significant in Chinese history. It began with civil war and a bloody coup, saw the construction of the Forbidden City, the completion of the Grand Canal, consolidation of the imperial bureaucracy, and expansion of China’s territory into Mongolia, Manchuria, and Vietnam.

Beginning with an hour-by-hour account of one day in Yongle’s court, Shih-shan Henry Tsai presents the multiple dimensions of the life of Yongle (Zhu Di, 1360-1424) in fascinating detail. Tsai examines the role of birth, education, and tradition in molding the emperor’s personality and values, and paints a rich portrait of a man characterized by stark contrasts. Synthesizing primary and secondary source materials, he has crafted a colorful biography of the most renowned of the Ming emperors.

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User Review  - pbjwelch - LibraryThing

This is a well-crafted, very readable introduction to the Ming emperor Yongle, full of both rich factual content and fascinating details that weave together many bits of information you probably ... Read full review

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User Review  - moncrieff - LibraryThing

Interesting insight into the life of one of the great Ming rulers Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Shih-shan Henry Tsai is professor emeritus of history and former director of Asian studies at the University of Arkansas. He is the author of several books, including Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty.

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