Revolution as Restoration

Guocui xuebao and China's Path to Modernity, 1905-1911


Revolution as Restoration examines the journal Guocui xuebao (1905-1911) to elucidate the momentous political and social changes in early twentieth-century China. Rather than viewing the journal as a collection of documents for studying a thinker (e.g., Zhang Taiyan), a concept (e.g., national essence), or an intellectual movement (e.g., cultural conservatism), this book focuses on the global network of commerce and communication that allowed independent publications to appear in the Chinese print market. As such, this book offers a different perspective on the Chinese quest for modernity. It shows that, from the start, the Chinese quest for modernity was never completely orchestrated by the central government, nor was it static and monolithic as the teleology of revolution describes.

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Tze-ki Hon, Ph.D. (1992), University of Chicago, is Professor of History at State University of New York at Geneseo. He has published monographs, edited volumes and many articles on late imperial and modern China, including The Yijing and Chinese Politics (SUNY Press, 2005), the edited volumes The Politics of Historical Production in Late Qing and Republican China (Brill, 2007), and Beyond the May Fourth Paradigm (Lexington, 2008).
"Whether one believes that the national essence thinking of the late Qing has much to say about the problem of modernity today, it played a major role in shaping Chinese self-understanding in the twentieth century. In six brisk chapters, Hon captures the essence of this progress, reminding us that even what today appear to be bizarre theories and arbitrary textual readings were part of an extraordinarily fertile period of rethinking Chinese culture."
Peter Zarrow, MCLC Resource Center Publication (May 2013)

“Hon Tze-ki’s book is concise, well argued, and important. Hon is thorough in documenting earlier studies of the National Essence Group, but makes clear his own contribution. Bringing attention to this group of late-Qing reformers that were neither revolutionary nor reactionary is an important contribution to the field, and all scholars of modern China will benefit from reading this book carefully.”
James Carter, Saint Joseph’s University, Monumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies, 64. 2, December 2016

"[Hon Tze-ki's] study is an important contribution to emerging scholarship in the intellectual history of modern China that showcases the multi-faceted, globally-oriented, and refreshingly original work of thinkers who reject the simplistic dualism of tradition versus modernity in interpreting China's present and future...his study offers crucial insight into dilemmas of modernization that are still ongoing, including how Chinese culture can find a legitimate place among a plurality of other (still largely nation-based) cultures and histories on the global level."
Leigh K. Jenco, Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy , 15.4, December 2016
Introduction: The Allure of the Nation

1. The Paradox of Global Competition

2. New Roles of the Educated Elite

3. The Law of Social Evolution

4. The Public Realm

5. Local Self-Government

6. Memories of Resistance

Conclusion: Lost in Transition
All interested in the history of late Qing China, 1911 Revolution, Chinese modernity, and print capitalism.
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