Since its founding, the government of the People's Republic of China has strived to transform rural production, the theme of this volume of History of Contemporary China. Fourteen articles translated from the Chinese journal Contemporary History (Dangdai Zhongguo shi yanjiu) offer both empirical account and theoretical analysis of a broad range of historical events and issues, such as the guiding policy framework of the “three rural issues,” the causes and consequences of the deep plowing movement and the development of public canteens during the Great Leap Forward, child care, enterprises and collectives, and private lending in the post-Mao era, and the changing dynamics of interregional flows of goods and people throughout the second half of the 20th century. These studies shed light on the historical origins of some of the agricultural and rural problems in China today.
Singing on the River by Igor Chabrowski, based on Sichuan boatmen’s work songs (
haozi), explores the little known world of mentality and self-representation of Chinese workers from the late 19th century until the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937). Chabrowski demonstrates how river workers constructed and interpreted their world, work, and gender in context of the dissolving social, cultural, and political orders. Boatmen asserted their own values, bemoaned exploitation, and imagined their sexuality largely in order to cope with their low social status. Through studying the Sichuan boatmen we gain an insight into the ways in which twentieth-century nonindustrial Chinese workers imagined their place in the society and appropriated, without challenging them, the traditional values.
There were over a thousand counties and prefectures in late imperial China; each loomed large in the hearts and minds of the local natives, and had a history of its own.
The Order of Places tells a story of how these places were ordered by the long-lived imperial state, and then re-ordered during the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries as geographical mobility increased.
At the center of the story are the mobile merchants from south China’s Huizhou Prefecture, then the most prominent merchant group in China. The story presents the dynamics of geography in the world’s most enduring empire on the eve of its entry into modern history, as the author explores the changing relationships between people and the place they called “home”, between local place and the life-world the Chinese called “all-under-Heaven,” and between local places.
The first volume of
Historical Studies of Contemporary China offers an examination of some key events, developments, issues, and figures in China since the founding of the People’s Republic. Drawing on rich primary and secondary sources, leading experts in the political, economic, intellectual, military and national defense, and diplomatic history of the PRC present insights and analysis on a wide range of topics, including emergency measures during the Difficult Three Year Period, the relationship between Neo-Confucianism and Marxism, the evolution of China’s international arms control policies, the Chinese government’s public opinion campaign prior to reestablishing diplomatic relations with Japan, the “Kashmir Princess” incident, and others. These accounts will help readers form a more nuanced understanding of China’s efforts to deal with an array of new problems while trying to recover from the ravages of two wars.
Covering half a century, from 1895 to 1945,
The Allure of the Nation examines three interlocking aspects of Chinese nationalist modernity: (1) the quest to balance global connectivity and ethnic authenticity; (2) the desire to balance national unity and local autonomy; (3) the drive to balance history’s place as a tool of political propaganda and as a weapon used to critique orthodoxy and political suppression. By viewing the nation as a cluster of spatial-temporal relations that link individuals to a territorial state, this book provides a different view of early twentieth-century China where the party-state did not have full control of political and cultural affairs, and alternative political perspectives (such as local self-government and democratic aristocracy) could be freely expressed.