Hong Kong

Overview

On July 1, 1997, a world will come to an end, as one of the last outposts of the British empire returns to Chinese rule. No one has depicted that world - the dazzlingly modern, obdurately traditional Crown Colony of Hong Kong - more faithfully, shrewdly, or affectionately than Jan Morris, who in this contemporary classic of travel writing celebrates the city's charm and squalor, unravels the tangle of its history, and gives us an informed glimpse into its future. Combining firsthand reportage with exemplary ...
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Hong Kong

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Overview

On July 1, 1997, a world will come to an end, as one of the last outposts of the British empire returns to Chinese rule. No one has depicted that world - the dazzlingly modern, obdurately traditional Crown Colony of Hong Kong - more faithfully, shrewdly, or affectionately than Jan Morris, who in this contemporary classic of travel writing celebrates the city's charm and squalor, unravels the tangle of its history, and gives us an informed glimpse into its future. Combining firsthand reportage with exemplary research, Morris takes us from Hong Kong's clamorous back alleys to the luxurious Happy Valley racecourse, where taipans place their bets between sips of champagne and bird's nest soup. Morris chronicles the exploits of opium traders and pirates, colonists and financiers, and shows how their descendants view the prospect of reunification with the Chinese mainland. What emerges is an epic tableau, vastly informed and pungently evocative.

Today's preeminent travel writer offers the definitive study to date of Hong Kong in its last days under British rule.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this ``well-written, albeit overly detailed overview,'' Morris alternates chapters on Hong Kong's history with descriptions of its geography, economy, politics and society, interspersing word-portraits of some of its leading rulers and entrepreneurs. ``There is much more here than most American readers will want to know,'' said PW. Dec.
Library Journal
With the benefit of extensive reading and long observation, Morris writes of Hong Kong as it nears the end of its colonial status and moves toward the ``enigma of 1997,'' the reunification with China. In alternating chapters of history and analysis, Morris conveys the colony's restless energy, its drive for profit, its lighted hills, the jackhammers pounding to make new buildings. Her prose, spiced with adjectives and apt phrases, moves easily among government officials, traders and triads, and the Chinese populace of millionaires and refugees. This well-balanced description of Hong Kong's past andpresent ends with a perceptive chapter on the belated introduction of democracy as Britain prepares to leave the colony. An enjoyable book that should find many readers. Literary Guild alternate.-- Elizabeth A. Teo, Moraine Valley Community Coll. Lib., Palos Hills, Ill.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679724865
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/1990
  • Edition description: 1st Vintage Books ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 369
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Prologue 15
2 Chronology 33
3 Impacts and Images 38
4 1840s: On the Foreshore 74
5 Peoples 93
6 1880s: The Compleat Colony 131
7 Means of Support 147
8 1920s: Dogdays 183
9 Control Systems 199
10 1940s: War and Peace 239
11 The Landlord 263
12 The Final Edition 291
13 Reading List 304
Thanks 307
Index 309
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