Human Tradition In Modern China / Edition 1

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This lively and engaging text offers a panorama of modern Chinese history through compelling biographies of the famous and obscure. Spanning five hundred years, they include a Ming dynasty medical pioneer, a Qing dynasty courtesan, a nineteenth-century Hong Kong business leader, a Manchu princess, an arsenal manager, a woman soldier, and a young maid in contemporary Beijing. Through the lives of these diverse people, readers will gain an understanding of the complex questions of modern Chinese history: What did it mean to be Chinese, and how did that change over time? How was learning encouraged and directed in imperial and post-imperial China? Was it possible to challenge entrenched gender roles? What effects did European imperialism have on Chinese lives? How did ordinary Chinese experience the warfare and political upheaval of twentieth-century China? What is the nature of the gap between urban and rural China in the post-Mao years? These richly researched biographies are written in an accessible and appealing style that will engage all readers interested in modern China.

Contributions by: Daria Berg, John M. Carroll, Kenneth J. Hammond, Joshua H. Howard, Fabio Lanza, Oliver Moore, Pan Yihong, Hugh Shapiro, Kristin Stapleton, and Shuo Wang

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Editorial Reviews

Joyce A. Madancy
Combining meticulous scholarship with the accessibility of biography, this volume provides readers with an intriguing means of exploring the meaning of modernity in China. The ten individuals whose life stories are chronicled here are not all extraordinary, but their experiences all reveal a China far different and far more complex than the traditional stereotype of a stagnant society waiting passively for the West to bring its modernizing influence. A lively Manchu princess, an illiterate peasant woman, a nineteenth-century Chinese photographer, the determined students of May Fourth—these are just a sampling of the men and women who bring Chinese history, in all its dynamism and tragedy, to life in these pages.
Roger Thompson
A fascinating array of Chinese are profiled in this book, introducing readers to more than four hundred years of history. For anyone interested in how individual women and men—including scholars, courtesans, merchants, factory managers, students, revolutionaries, and domestic workers—experienced and contributed to China’s social, intellectual, and political transformations, this volume of essays by established scholars of Chinese studies will open many avenues of inquiry.
David Pietz
This unique and extremely valuable book beautifully reflects the richness of Chinese social life. The biographies do a superb job of expressing how fundamental changes in China over the past five hundred years affected individuals in a variety of settings. By focusing on the very real human dimensions of Chinese history, the text is superbly equipped to enrich and engage students of China at all levels.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742554665
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Series: The Human Tradition Around the World Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 0.49 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth J. Hammond is associate professor of history at New Mexico State University. Kristin Stapleton is associate professor of history and director of the Asian Studies Program at the University of Buffalo.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Li Shizhen: Early Modern Scientist
Chapter 2: Amazon, Artist, and Adventurer: A Courtesan in Late Imperial China
Chapter 3: Zou Boqi on Vision and Photography in Nineteenth-Century China
Chapter 4: Ho Kai: A Chinese Reformer in Colonial Hong Kong
Chapter 5: Der Ling: Manchu Princess, Cultural Advisor, and Author
Chapter 6: Li Chenggan: Patriot, Populist, and Factory Patriarch
Chapter 7: The Beijing University Students in the May Fourth Era: A Collective Biography
Chapter 8: The Reluctant Mendicant
Chapter 9: Hu Lanqi: Rebellious Woman, Revolutionary Soldier, Discarded Heroine, Triumphant Survivor
Chapter 10: Zhao Ruiqin: A Peasant Woman in Gansu and Domestic Worker in Beijing

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