Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labor

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This work is an important addition to the rather limited literature on the social history of China during the first half of the twentieth century. It draws on abundant sources and studies which have appeared in the People's Republic of China since the early 1980s and which have not been systematically used in Western historiography. China has undergone a series of fundamental political transformations: from the 1911 Revolution that toppled the imperial system to the victory of the communists, all of which were greatly affected by labor unrest. This work places the politics of Chinese workers in comparative perspective and a remarkably comprehensive and nuanced picture of Chinese labor emerges from it, based on a wealth of primary materials. It joins the concerns of 'new labor history' for workers' culture and shopfloor conditions with a more conventional focus on strikes, unions, and political parties. As a result, the author is able to explore the linkage between social protest and state formation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Superbly researched and tightly conceptualized. Covering the 110 years before the successful communist revolution in 1949, Perry's study gently modifies several generations of received wisdom about Chinese labor activities. . . . She combines the social scientist's passion for order with the historian's eye for compelling anecdote. . . . The result is a sophisticated, provocative, and entertaining piece of work that profoundly alters our understanding of Chinese labor."—American Historical Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804720632
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1993
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Lexile: 1580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 16.00 (w) x 24.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I The Politics of Place, 1839-1919 11
1 A City of Immigrants 15
2 South China Artisans 32
3 North China Proletarians 48
Pt. II The Politics of Partisanship, 1919-49 65
4 Heyday of Radicalism, 1919-27 69
5 Conservative Interregnum, 1927-37 88
6 Radical Resurgence, 1937-49 109
Pt. III The Politics of Production 131
7 Tobacco 135
8 Textiles 167
9 Transport 216
Conclusion 239
Appendixes 259
A Strikes by Artisans in Shanghai, 1902-19 261
B Strikes by Unskilled Workers in Shanghai, 1898-1919 263
C Rickshaws for Hire in Shanghai 265
Character List 269
Notes 271
Index 317
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