At the Alamo in Hangzhou Summer, 2004
One of the fun things to do in Hangzhou is attend the Romance of the Song Dynasty Show. The Song Dynasty extended for about 300 years, ending in about 1275, with the conquest of the Mongols. Now I don’t think there are many people in the US who would attend a show titled the Romance of the late Dark Ages, or the Romance of the Era of the Imperial and Magnificent Church. This was the 1200’s, and we all believe in the progress of history. But Barbara Tuchman subtitled her famous book about the 14th Century, the next century, the Calamitous 14th Century. So this emphasis on romance just feels …. sort of misplaced, to me, the westerner.