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Echoes of Chongqing

Women in Wartime China

Danke Li

Publication Year: 2009

This collection of annotated oral histories records the personal stories of twenty Chinese women who lived in the wartime capital of Chongqing during China's War of Resistance against Japan during World War II. The women interviewed came from differing social, economic, and educational backgrounds and experienced the war in a variety of ways, some of them active in the communist resistance and others trying to support families or pursue educations in the face of wartime upheaval. The accounts of how women coped, worked, and lived during the war years in the Chongqing region recast historical understanding of the roles played by ordinary people in wartime and give women a public voice and face that, until now, have been missing from scholarship on the war.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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Title Page

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

I would not have finished this book without the enormous support from many people and institutions. My greatest indebtedness is to the women I interviewed over the past years in Chongqing. I thank them for opening their homes and hearts to me and allowing me to include their stories in my book. ...

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Introduction: History, Women, and China’s War of Resistance against Japan

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pp. 1-30

Although in the United States, Europe, and other parts of Asia oral history has played an important role in the study of World War II,1 such has not been the case in the study of China and World War II, especially the study of women in China’s War of Resistance against Japan. ...

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Part I: The War and Gender's Social Roles

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pp. 31-93

Although Poshek Fu’s 1997 study of occupied Shanghai, Joshua Fogel’s 2000 study of Japanese-captured Nanjing, and Norman Smith’s 2007 study of Japanese-controlled Manchukuo shed light on wartime life, especially intellectuals’ life in those places, we know very little about the social realities in the GMD-held wartime capital of Chongqing, ...

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Part II: The War and Gender's Ecomonic Impact

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pp. 94-127

In the West, the existing studies on China’s wartime economy and its social and political impact on the gmd-held areas have been mainly focused on the macro level.1 While we know theoretically and abstractly that ordinary people endured tremendous economic hardship and were profoundly affected by the scarcity of goods and high inflation, ...

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Part III: The War and Gender's Political Impact

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pp. 128-175

Since the early 1980s, historiography on China’s wartime politics has evolved from Jiang Jieshi’s personal dictatorship and the ccp and gmd rivalry to state building and multiple political parties contending for power.1 Nevertheless, most of the existing works on Chinese wartime politics were confined to a master narrative of masculine political actors, ...

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Part IV: Women, Memory, and China's War of Resistance against Japan

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pp. 176-186

Scholars recognize that memory is constructed, not reproduced; with changes of circumstances and people’s outlook, memories change as well.1 More importantly, the construction and reshaping of memories often serves a present need and circumstance—memories can be manipulated and are also often used as political vehicles. ...


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pp. 187-196


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pp. 197-208


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pp. 209-215

E-ISBN-13: 9780252091735
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252034893

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 708738131
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Echoes of Chongqing

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Subject Headings

  • Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945 -- Women.
  • Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945 -- China -- Chongqing.
  • Women -- China -- Chongqing -- History -- 20th century.
  • Women -- China -- Chongqing -- Interviews.
  • Oral history -- China -- Chongqing.
  • Chongqing (China) -- Biography.
  • Chongqing (China) -- History, Military -- 20th century.
  • Chongqing (China) -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
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