Empress Dowager Cixi of China

Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908) is the most important woman in Chinese history. Jung Chang explains how she brought a medieval empire into the modern age. In her biography Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China, Chang looks at how Cixi achieved modern industries, railways, electricity, the telegraph and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. She also put an end to foot-binding and inaugurated women’s liberation.