Imperial Warlord (Sinica Leidensia)

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9789004185227: Imperial Warlord (Sinica Leidensia)

The warlord Cao Cao, founder of the Three Kingdoms state of Wei, is most commonly known through the romantic tradition of the novel Sanguo yanyi and other dramatic fictions, which portray him as cruel and vicious. In fact, however, Cao Cao was a fine strategist and politician who restored a measure of order after the political turmoil and civil war that brought the end of Han.The present work offers a detailed account of Cao Cao's life and times, using historical materials and the man's own words from official proclamations and personal poetry. Exceptionally for such a distant time, there is sufficient information in the texts to provide a rounded interpretation of one of the great characters of early China.

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About the Author:

Rafe de Crespigny, Ph.D. (1968) of the Australian National University, is Professor of Asian Studies at that university and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He has published monographs, translations and many articles on China, including A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (Brill, 27).

Review:

Winner of the Stanislas Julien prize for 2011. "Choice" Outstanding Academic Title 2011 This impressive volume is the culmination of a lifetime's work on Cao Cao, the Later Han chancellor, Three Kingdoms warlord, and, posthumously, Wei emperor. De Crespigny's study is the definitive work on this critical figure in any language. The image of Cao Cao and several of his defeated opponents has been shaped in the popular mind by subsequent fictionalizations, most recently in a major film, that are now core mythologies in Chinese culture. De Crespigny (Australian National Univ.) deals sensitively with the complex historical and literary issues involved in explaining Cao Cao, working through a thicket of frequently hostile sources with erudition and fairness. In addition to providing a painstaking narrative of the political and military events of Cao Cao's life, the author also devotes considerable attention to explaining the historiographical and literary issues involved in studying Cao Cao, summing up with the aptly titled section "Why Cao Cao?" The only regret one has in reading this book is that there isn't more scholarship like it available. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- P. Lorge, Vanderbilt University, CHOICE June 2011 'Rafe de Crespigny s meticulous biography of Cao Cao provides a full, detailed, carefully sourced and dispassionate account of the most powerful and controversial Chinese statesman (...)' PETER HARRIS, Victoria University of Wellington, "New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies," 14, 1 (June 2012)"

Winner of the Stanislas Julien prize for 2011. Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2011 This impressive volume is the culmination of a lifetime's work on Cao Cao, the Later Han chancellor, Three Kingdoms warlord, and, posthumously, Wei emperor. De Crespigny's study is the definitive work on this critical figure in any language. The image of Cao Cao and several of his defeated opponents has been shaped in the popular mind by subsequent fictionalizations, most recently in a major film, that are now core mythologies in Chinese culture. De Crespigny (Australian National Univ.) deals sensitively with the complex historical and literary issues involved in explaining Cao Cao, working through a thicket of frequently hostile sources with erudition and fairness. In addition to providing a painstaking narrative of the political and military events of Cao Cao's life, the author also devotes considerable attention to explaining the historiographical and literary issues involved in studying Cao Cao, summing up with the aptly titled section "Why Cao Cao?" The only regret one has in reading this book is that there isn't more scholarship like it available. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- P. Lorge, Vanderbilt University, CHOICE June 2011 'Rafe de Crespigny's meticulous biography of Cao Cao provides a full, detailed, carefully sourced and dispassionate account of the most powerful and controversial Chinese statesman (...)' PETER HARRIS, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, 14, 1 (June 2012)

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