'Few have better qualifications than Jasper Becker to write about Beijing … his beautifully written book reads as a lament for the death of a great city' Literary Review
In the summer of 1997, without discussion or announcement, a decision was made to eradicate the old Beijing. The ancient city has since undergone a violent upheaval.
The capital of China from the ninth century; the largest religious centre in Asia, with thousands of temples; home to the richest art collections and the best artisans, scholars, writers and painters through the centuries: in the rush to modernize, this Beijing has been gutted, with millions summarily evicted and less the 5% of its buildings spared.
This unique telling of the history of Beijing encapsulates both the grandeur of its creation and the tragedy of its demise. Jasper Becker draws on over twenty years' experience working as a journalist and author in China to describe the history of the city and the motivations, processes and impact of its systematic destruction.
City of Heavenly Tranquillity is a startling, eye-opening account of a fascinating and devastating moment in Chinese history.
'Evocative, story-packed' The Times
'An exceedingly engaging book … past and present leap out with equal vividness' Taipei Times