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This book is a study of everyday life in rural north China in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century told through the story of one man’s life.
In this beautifully crafted study of one emblematic life, Harrison addresses large themes in Chinese history while conveying with great immediacy the textures and rhythms of everyday life in the countryside in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Liu Dapeng was a provincial degree-holder who never held government office. Through the story of his family, the author illustrates the decline of the countryside in relation to the cities as a result of modernization and the transformation of Confucian ideology as a result of these changes. Based on nearly 400 volumes of Liu's diary and other writings, the book illustrates what it was like to study in an academy and to be a schoolteacher, the pressures of changing family relationships, the daily grind of work in industry and agriculture, people's experience with government, and life under the Japanese occupation.
In this beautifully crafted study of one emblematic life, Harrison addresses large themes in Chinese history while conveying with great immediacy the textures and rhythms of everyday life in the countryside in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Liu Dapeng was a provincial degree-holder who never held government office. Through the story of his family, the author illustrates the decline of the countryside in relation to the cities as a result of modernization and the transformation of Confucian ideology as a result of these changes. Based on nearly 400 volumes of Liu's diary and other writings, the book illustrates what it was like to study in an academy and to be a schoolteacher, the pressures of changing family relationships, the daily grind of work in industry and agriculture, people's experience with government, and life under the Japanese occupation.
The Missionary’s Curse tells the story of a Chinese village that has been Catholic since the seventeenth century, drawing direct connections between its history, the globalizing church, and the nation. Harrison recounts the popular folk tales of merchants and peasants who once adopted Catholic rituals and teachings for their own purposes, only to find themselves in conflict with the orthodoxy of Franciscan missionaries arriving from Italy. The village’s long religious history, combined with the similarities between Chinese folk religion and Italian Catholicism, forces us to rethink the extreme violence committed in the area during the Boxer Uprising. The author also follows nineteenth century Chinese priests who campaigned against missionary control, up through the founding of the official church by the Communist Party in the 1950s. Harrison’s in-depth study provides a rare insight into villager experiences during the Socialist Education Movement and Cultural Revolution, as well as the growth of Christianity in China in recent years. She makes the compelling argument that Catholic practice in the village, rather than adopting Chinese forms in a gradual process of acculturation, has in fact become increasingly similar to those of Catholics in other parts of the world.
Unlike other texts on modern Chinese history, which tend to be either encyclopedic or too pedantic, Revolution and Its Past is comprehensive but concise, focused on the most recent scholarship, and written in a style that engages students from beginning to end. The Third Edition uses the theme of identities--of the nation itself and of the Chinese people--to probe the vast changes that have swept over China from late imperial times to the early twenty-first century. In so doing, it explores the range of identities that China has chosen over time and those that outsiders have attributed to China and its people, showing how, as China rapidly modernizes, the issue of Chinese identity in the modern world looms large.
Centering on five life stories by Chinese women activists born just after the turn of this century, this first history of Chinese May Fourth feminism disrupts the Chinese Communist Party's master narrative of Chinese women's liberation, reconfigures the history of the Chinese Enlightenment from a gender perspective, and addresses the question of how feminism engendered social change cross-culturally. In this multilayered book, the first-person narratives are complemented by a history of the discursive process and the author's sophisticated intertextual readings. Together, the parts form a fascinating historical portrait of how educated Chinese men and women actively deployed and appropriated ideologies from the West in their pursuit of national salvation and self-emancipation. As Wang demonstrates, feminism was embraced by men as instrumental to China's modernity and by women as pointing to a new way of life.
In 1872 in the treaty port of Shanghai, British merchant Ernest Major founded one of the longest-lived and most successful of modern Chinese-language newspapers, the "Shenbao." This book sets out to analyze how the managers of the "Shenbao" made their alien product acceptable to Chinese readers and how foreign-style newspapers became alternative modes of communication acknowledged as a powerful part of the Chinese public sphere within a few years.

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