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American Historical ReviewThis rich study . . . represents the culmination of two decades of research and publication. . . . [Huang] devotes most of the book to demonstrating the ways in which the adaptation of earlier Chinese legal practices has nonetheless continued down to the present, creating a distinctively Chinese modernity. . . . Huang makes a strong case for how crucial it is to understand China’s past if we are to make sense of the present and make predictions for the future. This book will be of great interest not only to those interested in law, Chinese and comparative, but also to all wrestling with the complicated and still unresolved question of the nature of modernity, Chinese and other.
— Joanna Waley-Cohen