Through the centre of China’s historic capital, Long Peace Street cuts a long, arrow-straight line. It divides the Forbidden City, home to generations of Chinese emperors, from Tiananmen Square, the vast granite square constructed to glorify a New China under Communist rule. To walk the street is to travel through the story of China’s recent past, wandering among its physical relics and hearing echoes of its dramas.
Long Peace Street recounts a journey in modern China, a walk of twenty miles across Beijing offering a very personal encounter with the life of the capital’s streets. At the same time, it takes the reader on a journey through the city’s recent history, telling the story of how the present and future of the world’s rising superpower has been shaped by its tumultuous past, from the demise of the last imperial dynasty in 1912 through to the present day.