Synopses & Reviews
In China, a nation where the worlds of politics and art are closely linked, Western classical music was considered during the cultural revolution to be an imperialist intrusion, in direct conflict with the native aesthetic. In this revealing chronicle of the relationship between music and politics in twentieth-century China, Richard Kraus examines the evolution of China's ever-changing disposition towards European music and demonstrates the steady westernization of Chinese music. Placing China's cultural conflicts in global perspective, he traces the lives of four Chinese musicians and reflects on how their experiences are indicative of China's place at the furthest edge of an expanding Western international order.
"The book is so artfully composed that its many lives provide not only a rare glimpse of the life-styles of China's privileged set but also a relatively full picture of the Chinese politics of music from 1949 to the present."--Journal of Asian Studies
"Deserves to become a classic....Masterful and engrossing."--Musical Times
"This provocative, informative, and well-written book is likely to offend and infuriate a variety of readers, a prospect which, I suspect, would delight the author....The reader is totally engaged, at times nodding appreciatively at a particularly revealing insight, chuckling over a well-turned ironic phrase, or vigorously disagreeing with an example of rhetorical overkill. As one of the very few systematic attempts to examine the politics of culture in China, firmly rooted in Chinese-language sources, this book deserves a wide audience."--Journal of Politics
"Provides rich, and unique, material for historians of China's long revolutionary process as he explores the intricacies of changing Communist party cultural policy and the intricacies of changing Communist party cultural policy and the intimate details of factional infighting as revealed in the world of music....For enhancing our understanding of the patterns of cultural interaction in an increasingly global history, historians can only be grateful to Kraus."--American Historical Review
"A pleasure to read, and both those interested in China and students of the politics of the arts more generally will profit from it."--Contemporary Sociology
With her satire on Anglo-Irish landlords in Castle Rackrent (1800), Maria Edgeworth pioneered the regional novel and inspired Sir Walter Scott's Waverley (1814). Politically risky, stylistically innovative, and wonderfully entertaining, the novel changes the focus of conflict in Ireland from
religion to class, and boldly predicts the rise of the Irish Catholic bourgeoisie. The second edition now includes new notes informed by the latest scholarship.
This book presents the story of China's urban middle class and its music through biographies of four Chinese musicians whose careers embody the contradictions of China's response to Western Culture.