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"Boxer Rebellion Reading Recommendation(s)?" Topic


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GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 5:53 a.m. PST

For reading on the Boxer Rebellion what book(s) would you recommend?

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 6:50 a.m. PST

The Boxer Rebellion by Diana Preston is the best out of the several I've read and is readily available. If you're going to be gaming this period or are hoping for some inspiration to paint up armies for it, then you might want to avoid this book! Her conclusions are that the Chinese had no chance in the war and through the various battles you could see that they were hopelessly outclassed in strategy, tactics, firepower, logistics, and pretty much anything else associated with warfare.

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 6:56 a.m. PST

The Boxer Rebellion, by Diana Preston.
The Fists of Righteous Harmony, by Henry Keown-Boyd.
China 1900: The Eyewitnesses Speak, by Frederic Sharf and Peter Harrington.
The Spirit Soldiers, by Richard O'Connor.
Military Operations in China 1900-1901, by Major Norie.
America in the China Relief Expedition, by Brig.-Gen. Daggett.
Peking 1900 (Osprey Campaign Series), by Peter Harrington.
The Siege at Peking, by Peter Fleming.
The Long Arm of Empire, by Richard Brooks.
Taku Forts, by Colin Narbeth.
Through the Sewer Gates, by Richard Steel.

rmaker07 Nov 2017 8:36 a.m. PST

The Boxer Catastrophe by Chester Tan

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 9:43 a.m. PST

The Siege at Peking, by Peter Fleming is my favorite.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 12:24 p.m. PST

For a brilliant fictional treatment of a "common Chinese" view and experience of the conflict, I'll recommend Gene Luen Yang's companion graphic novels Boxers & Saints. The first is told by a rural boy who becomes a fictional leader of the rebels, while the latter is the view of a young rural Chinese Catholic girl. Both offer a sense of the religious elements behind the war, as well as the motivations of the Boxers and their exaggerated view of their actions and capabilities. While the books don't go into great detail on the military actions and are each primarily the POV of their own central characters, the major players and incidents are touched on, as well as the underlying tensions and abuses that triggered the war.
No, these are neither history nor military treatises, and fictional license (and "mystical" license) are taken, but both books are moving portrayals of the tragedy of the war on a human level. Worth a look, whether before or after a serious study of the war.

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