Synopses & Reviews
The first book to synthesize and make available important recent research on the social and economic history of China in late Imperial and modern times, this is a much-needed supplement to existing political histories. Lloyd E. Eastman clarifies the complex and confusing facets of Chinese society while paying tribute to its extraordinary regional, social and historical diversity. He covers a wide range of topics, from population trends, family life, and popular religion, to agriculture, commerce, manufacturing, and class structure while providing a clear, cogent introduction to a fascinating culture.
"Provides solid grounding in the economic and social context that shaped modern China's political history....The chapters are clearly written and generous in their presentation of factual data."--History
"Excellent background for a modern China course."--Linda Walton, Portland State University
"A most useful resource for teachers and students of modern Chinese history, as well as those who labor in the vineyards of world history/civilization courses....The best single assessment available of the economy and society of China in the four hundred years before the Chinese Communist takeover, providing a coherent picture of a vast and complex region in a global context."--The Historian
"[Eastman] has succeeded in producing a textbook noteworthy for its direct and lucid discussion of many major historical issues....The book's style is marked by an informality and verve certain to keep students' interest....Students will gain much from this readable introductory synthesis."--Asia
"A very useful textbook....Significantly supplements the dominant emphasis on political and intellectual history in other texts, and thus better reflects the interests and findings of important new trends in the study of China's history by Americans and others."--Journal of Economic History
Table of Contents
Population: Growth and Migration
The Family and the Individual in Chinese Society
The Popular Religion: Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors
Agriculture: An Overview
The Agricultural Sector in the Early-20th Century: The Problem of "Peasant Immiseration"
Commerce in the Late-Imperial Period: The Instruments and Geography of Trade
Manufacturing in the Late-Imperial Period: A Failed Industrial Revolution?
Commerce and Manufacturing During the Period of Western Influence
New Social Classes in the Early-Modern Period
The Yin Side of Society: Secret Societies, Bandits, and Feuds
Conclusion: Constancy and Change