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Monday, April 30, 2012

The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China (Hill & Wang), by David J. Silbey

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They were called the Boxers for their martial arts skills and, whether with fists, cudgels or guns, those Chinese insurgents came close to defeating a powerful coalition of foreign armies as the 20th century began. The Boxers have usually been depicted from a U.S. or European perspective, but in The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China, Cornell University's David J. Silbey investigates the phenomenon with a more open mind. Even so, the Boxers remain a bit mysterious, a grassroots movement leaving a scant paper trail, but their grievances against foreign exploitation and racism are easily understood. Silbey writes compactly and vividly, bringing together a mass of information into a memorable, succinct narrative of China rising against the world.