History Book Group: “Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China”

Decorah Public Library staff are hosting five book discussions in July. The groups are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend. Anyone interested should call the library at 382-3717 to learn more or to reserve a book. Zoom links are available on the Library’s website or you can email ktorresdal@decorahlibrary.org to be added to any of the groups’ email distribution lists. Funds for multiple copy sets were generously provided by Friends of Decorah Public Library.

The History Book Group will meet on the 2nd floor of the library Thurs. July 18 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss the second half of Jung Chang’s “Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China.” At the age of sixteen, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the Chinese emperor’s numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler. In this biography, Jung Chang describes how Cixi fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her, the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of modern industries:  railways, electricity, the telegraph, and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. She inaugurated women’s liberation and embarked on the path to introduce parliamentary elections.  

For more information, contact Tricia Crary (Friday Book Group) or Kristin Torresdal (Happy Hour, History, and Speculative Fiction Book Groups) at 563-382-3717.

  • Event Attendance Mode: Physical Event


Jul 18 2024


3:00 pm


Decorah Public Library Mezzanine
Second Floor


Kristin Torresdal
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