Product is from the following collection: The Ultimate Collection

Forbidden City: The Palace at the Heart of Chinese Culture

Regular price
$1,200 USD

Email Me When In Stock

For more than six centuries, the Forbidden City has awed all those who have travelled from near and far to explore its 900 golden-roofed buildings, set amid moats, gardens, and...

Read more

Ian Johnson is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and The New York Times; his work has also appeared in The New Yorker and National Geographic. During more than twenty years of working in China he has won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting and the Shorenstein lifetime achievement award for covering Asia. An advising editor for The Journal of Asian Studies, he also teaches university courses on religion and society at the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. He is the author of three books that focus on the intersection of politics and religion: Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in China; A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, The CIA, and The Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West; and The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao. Ian currently resides in Beijing.

This vast gathering of courts and palaces remains one of the most sublime architectural creations in the world.

— Simon Leys, Art Historian

In the details

Ultimate Collection curates culture from around the world and across the ages. Hand-bound using traditional techniques, with color plates hand-tipped on art-quality paper, each page of this limited-edition series bears the unique imprint of the artisan.

Show more

In the details

Each purchase comes with complimentary white handling gloves and our signature tote bag.

Page count

200 pages

Number of illustrations

over 150



Released on

January 2021


W 18 x L 20 x D 3.5 in

Cover materials

Handcrafted edition in a red lacquered glossy clamshell case




25.0 lb

Ian Johnson

in partnership with
one tree planted

Since 2019, Assouline has partnered with the non-profit organization One Tree Planted in their joint mission to create a more sustainable world. Through this partnership, Assouline plants one tree for every book sold. Once these trees reach maturity, Assouline aims to create a sustainable cycle by sourcing paper from the trees it has planted.

Learn More


Since its beginnings in 1994, Assouline has been dedicated to creating books that are as informational as they are beautiful works of art. The respect for the product and the process of creation is evident in every facet – the traditional technique of hand-binding covers, the imagery that transports the reader to another place and time, the luxurious thickness of each page.

Learn More


Assouline’s Ultimate Tower serves as a stylish new way for our readers to prominently display our most iconic collection. Crafted in a matte-black metal with the Assouline logo engraved on front of its base, the stand is capable of holding ten Assouline Ultimate titles and is a must-have for every culture connoisseur.

Learn More