In this exciting book, Ronald Suleski introduces daily life for the common people of China in the century from 1850 to 1950. They were semi-literate, yet they have left us written accounts of their hopes, fears, and values. They have left us the hand-written manuscripts (
chaoben 抄本) now flooding the antiques markets in China. These documents represent a new and heretofore overlooked category of historical sources.
Suleski gives a detailed explanation of the interaction of
chaoben with the lives of the people. He offers examples of why they were so important to the poor laboring masses: people wanted horoscopes predicting their future, information about the ghosts causing them headaches, a few written words to help them trade in the rural markets, and many more examples are given. The book contains a special appendix giving the first complete translation into English of a chaoben describing the ghosts and goblins that bedeviled the poor working classes.
From Accelerated Accumulation to Socialist Market Economy in China, Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard and Koen Rutten examine China’s indigenous economic discourse and its relation to both economic policy-making and the overall trajectory of development from the First Five Year Plan in 1953 to 2016. In so doing, this volume demonstrates that although the form of the current economic system and its theoretical underpinnings bear scant resemblance to those of the planned economy, economic policy-making still relies on the principle of accelerated accumulation, which lay at the heart of the economic development project in the early years of the People’s Republic.