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In: Nature, Environment and Culture in East Asia
In: Selected Essays on the History of Contemporary China
In: Selected Essays on the History of Contemporary China
Editor: ZHANG Xingxing
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.
Editors: Letian Zhang and Yunxiang Yan
This rare unusual collection contains a total of 774 letters, most of which were written by a couple, Mr. Lu and Ms. Jiang, who lived apart for more than fifteen years between 1961 and 1986 and relied mainly on letter-writing to communicate. They passionately revealed romantic love and conjugal compassion to each other; they discussed mundane details of everyday family life including management of the household economy, efforts of interacting with in-laws, relatives, and friends, learning course of raising children, and strategies of coping with financial hardship. They also sincerely engaged each other in a soul-searching process of making themselves into socialist subjects and participating in various political campaigns.

The content of these letters is as rich and complicated as the flow of life itself in which the personal, economic and political are intermingled together. The degree of sincerity and honesty in these letters is greater than that in many other kinds of historical data because the authors are not writing for public consumption. This rare collection of personal letters presents not only a huge amount of original and disaggregated data but also constitutes an oral history of social life in China that is unintentionally being recorded by the authors.
All the articles featured in this volume first appeared in the Chinese-language edition of Blue Book of Chinese Society 2014. They present and analyze developments in 2012-2013 in income and consumption, industrial transformation, employment, social security, healthcare, education, quality of life and public sentiments. Most data come from several large-scale social surveys. There are a number of highlights. An entire chapter is devoted to capturing Chinese people’s outlook on their own future and that of the country. A special report takes the pulse of the Internet, whose social impact has grown rapidly in recent years. And for the first time in this series parenting strategies and styles of people with young children received special attention. Policy suggestions are provided.
This book presents a complete set of the daily work journals by a village cadre, Mr. Zhou Shengkang (1926-2012), from 1961 to 1982. Mr. Zhou carefully—and almost religiously—recorded all the meetings he attended or chaired, the information he received from his superiors, the various speeches and work tasks he completed, records of good and bad behavior by fellow villagers, details on village elections and leadership changes, and political campaigns and other important events in the community, plus his personal observations and reflections on these events.

To date such a systematic, rich, and detailed set of original work journal records have never appeared in published form or been made available to the public. When used as records of social history, Zhou’s work journals allow researchers to delve more deeply, and when used for comparative purposes, researchers can explore more widely to gain additional insights. Regardless of how the journals are used, they contain a gold mine of information waiting to be explored and uncovered.