The Story of China

Join Michael Wood as he shares his compelling portrait of the oldest living civilisation, this sparkling narrative mingles the grand sweep with personal stories, woven together with landscape, history and the author’s own travel journals to make an enthralling account of China’s 4000-year-old tradition.
The story is enriched with the latest archaeological and documentary discoveries; correspondence going back to the Qin and Han dynasties, family letters from soldiers in the real-life Terra Cotta Army; stories from Silk Road merchants and Buddhist travellers, along with memoirs of later emperors, poets and peasants.
The book is full of intimate detail and colourful voices, but it is also a history of big ideas; uncovering some of the deep-rooted characteristics of Chinese civilisation, among them the perseverance of the authoritarian bureaucratic state and the cult of the Sage Ruler which has persisted from the First Emperor to Mao, and beyond. What were the forces that have kept China together for so long? Why was China overtaken by the west after the 18th century? What lies behind China’s extraordinary rise today?
The Story of China tells a thrilling story of intense drama, fabulous creativity and deep humanity; a portrait of a country that will be of the greatest significance to the world in the twenty-first century.


Michael Wood - The Story of China