Why Shanghai? On Engagement and Empiricism in the Field of Chinese Urban History

Why Shanghai? On Engagement and Empiricism in the Field of Chinese Urban History Features Wen-Hsin Yeh. Shanghai Splendor: Economic Sentiments and the Making of Modern China, 1843­1949. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. xiii, 305 pp. Paperback $39.95, isbn 978-0-520-24971-4. Marie-Claire Bergère. Shanghai: China's Gateway to Modernity. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009. xix, 497 pp. Hardcover $80.00, isbn 978-0-804-74904-6. Introduction The books under review here are two of the most important studies of Shanghai's prewar history to be published in recent years. Their respective authors, Wen-Hsin Yeh of UCLA and Marie-Claire Bergère of École Normale Supérieure, can point to near-lifetimes of intricate engagement with the city on different levels. Each has contributed a trail of previous publications that have become standards in the field of Shanghai studies, at least in the West. In that sense, the two books can also be read as exceptionally erudite summations of decades of scholarship that have shaped the contours of the field, coupled with insightful concluding notes on what might become of Shanghai in the future. I will offer an economic historian's reading of these two books along with broader observations on the direction of Chinese urban historiography in Western academe. The issue that concerns me most as a younger academic is precisely the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Why Shanghai? On Engagement and Empiricism in the Field of Chinese Urban History

China Review International, Volume 16 (4) – Jul 13, 2009

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
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1527-9367
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Abstract

Features Wen-Hsin Yeh. Shanghai Splendor: Economic Sentiments and the Making of Modern China, 1843­1949. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. xiii, 305 pp. Paperback $39.95, isbn 978-0-520-24971-4. Marie-Claire Bergère. Shanghai: China's Gateway to Modernity. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009. xix, 497 pp. Hardcover $80.00, isbn 978-0-804-74904-6. Introduction The books under review here are two of the most important studies of Shanghai's prewar history to be published in recent years. Their respective authors, Wen-Hsin Yeh of UCLA and Marie-Claire Bergère of École Normale Supérieure, can point to near-lifetimes of intricate engagement with the city on different levels. Each has contributed a trail of previous publications that have become standards in the field of Shanghai studies, at least in the West. In that sense, the two books can also be read as exceptionally erudite summations of decades of scholarship that have shaped the contours of the field, coupled with insightful concluding notes on what might become of Shanghai in the future. I will offer an economic historian's reading of these two books along with broader observations on the direction of Chinese urban historiography in Western academe. The issue that concerns me most as a younger academic is precisely the

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China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 13, 2009

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