The history of China is rich in episodes of slaughter, sometimes perpetrated by invaders like the Manchu, or by the Mongols in the 13th century, or much later by the Japanese at Nanking in 1937.
China was capable of drumming up darkness of its own, too.
An entire era of early Chinese history is known as the time of the Warring States on account of its chronic civil strife.
The so-called 'Three Kingdoms' period was even worse.
Then there was a bitter and bloody civil war between Communists and Nationalists in the mid-20th century, while Chairman Mao's Great Leap Forward (1958-62) and the famine it brought with it cost tens of millions of lives. China: A Dark History offers an uncompromising and entertaining account of one of the oldest and most enduring civilisations in the world, from the cruel King Zhou of the Second Millennium BCE to the suppression of the Uighur minority today.
In between the author covers everything from barbarian invasions, the Battle of the Red Cliffs and foot binding to the Opium Wars, the last emperor Puyi and internet censorship in the 21st century.