386 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 2, Fall 1997 Edward L. Farmer. Zhu Yuanzhang and Early Ming Legislation: The Reordering of Chinese Society Following the Era ofMongol Rule. Sinica Leidensia, vol. 34. Leiden, New York, and Köln: E. J. Brill, 1995. x, 259 pp. Hardcover $79.50, isbn 90-04-10391-0. The roU call of visionary founding fathers of new regimes in China's long history, of superhuman figures whose grand designs for state and society became orthodox inspirational models for later generations, can probably be reduced to a short list of three: the Duke of Zhou (fl. twelfth century b.c.); Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398); and Mao Zedong (1893-1976). But Mao's case as institutional creator and moral guide has come under severe criticism since his death; and fhe Duke of Zhou was technically a regent and advisor, not a king or ruler, and his reputation is mainly posthumous. So that leaves Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming dynasty, as arguably the sole member of his class, overpowering as emperor and lawgiver in his own day, whose reputation, though faded (Sun Yat-sen's tomb is much bigger), has never seriously been challenged or criticized, at least not in China. As Farmer's subtitle states,
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 30, 1997
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