Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review: Warriors and Wailers: One Hundred Ancient Chinese Jobs You Might Have Relished or Reviled by Sarah Tsiang


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Ever thought of becoming an emperor? How about a silk maker?

China was one of the most advanced societies in the ancient world. Whether in medicine, the arts, or education, the Chinese far outpaced the Europeans. Although most people were peasants, society included a myriad of other jobs.

It may sound like a great position, but being emperor had its downside. If you displeased the gods, you could be put to death. As a silk maker, you would be sworn to secrecy so foreigners wouldn't learn how to spin the precious thread. Other jobs included wailer (yes, you'll cry whether you want to or not), noodle maker (noodles were not only delicious, but also a symbol of long life), or Shaolin warrior monk (if you were really good, you could break stone slabs with your fists).

A fact-filled introduction, index, and timeline make this book-the sixth in the series-perfect for research projects, while the humorous illustrations keep it fun.
MY TAKE:

I've been fascinated by China ever since I saw Mulan. Ancient China is a very interesting place and that's why I was eager to read this book.

Warriors and Wailers: One Hundred Ancient Chinese Jobs You Might Have Relished or Reviled gives you a look at the different jobs available in Ancient China.

Who knew that there were so many specialized jobs then? Some jobs, especially civil service ones, were available only to men. There are other jobs, such as concubines, that while available to women, aren't exactly something that women nowadays would be eager to have.

One surprising fact that I learned from this book is that merchants were looked down upon. Merchants have definitely come a long way.

Thanks to NetGalley and Annick Press for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:
  1. You learn a lot of interesting things.
  2. It's not boring.
  3. It's well-organized.
THE BAD:
  1. The illustration style may not be interesting for everyone.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
If you wanted to make your parents proud, you wouldn't become a doctor. Instead, you would dream of passing the difficult civil service exams and climbing the ladder of government rank.
READ IT IF:
  1. You like learning about new things.
  2. You find Ancient China interesting.
  3. You're trying to find inspiration for your future career.
RATING:
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