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Hidden Hands and Divided Landscapes Cover

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Hidden Hands and Divided Landscapes

A Penal History of Singapore's Plural Society

Anoma Pieris

During the nineteenth century, the colonial Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang, and Melaka were established as free ports of British trade in Southeast Asia and proved attractive to large numbers of regional migrants. Following the abolishment of slavery in 1833, the Straits government transported convicts from the East India Company’s Indian presidencies to the settlements as a source of inexpensive labor. The prison became the primary experimental site for the colonial plural society and convicts were graduated by race and the labor needed for urban construction. Hidden Hands and Divided Landscapes investigates how a political system aimed at managing ethnic communities in the larger material context of the colonial urban project was first imagined and tested through the physical segregation of the colonial prison. It relates the story of a city, Singapore, and a contemporary city-state whose plural society has its origins in these historical divisions. A description of the evolution of the ideal plan for a plural city across the three settlements is followed by a detailed look at Singapore’s colonial prison. Chapters trace the prison’s development and its dissolution across the urban landscape through the penal labor system. The author demonstrates the way in which racial politics were inscribed spatially in the division of penal facilities and how the map of the city was reconfigured through convict labor. Later chapters describe penal resistance first through intimate stories of penal life and then through a discussion of organized resistance in festival riots. Eventually, the plural city ideal collapsed into the hegemonic urban form of the citadel, where a quite different military vision of the city became evident. Hidden Hands and Divided Landscapes is a fascinating and thoroughly original study in urban history and the making of multiethnic society in Singapore. It will compel readers to rethink the ways in which colonial urban history, postcolonial urbanism, and governance have been theorized by scholars and represented by governments.

A History of the Modern Chinese Army Cover

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A History of the Modern Chinese Army

Xiaobing Li

Since the establishment of the Red Army in 1927, China’s military has responded to profound changes in Chinese society, particularly its domestic politics, shifting economy, and evolving threat perceptions. Recently tensions between China and Taiwan and other east Asian nations have aroused great interest in the extraordinary transformation and new capabilities of the Chinese army. In A History of the Modern Chinese Army, Xiaobing Li, a former member of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), provides a comprehensive examination of the PLA from the Cold War to the beginning of the twenty-first century that highlights the military’s central function in modern Chinese society. In the 1940s, the Chinese army was in its infancy, and many soldiers were rural conscripts and volunteers who had received little formal schooling. The Chinese military rapidly increased its mobility and weapon strength, and the Korean War and Cold War offered intense combat experience that not only allowed soldiers to hone their fighting techniques but also helped China to develop military tactics tailored to the surrounding countries whose armies posed the most immediate threats. Yet even in the 1970s, the completion of a middle school education (nine years) was considered above-average, and only 4 percent of the 224 top Chinese generals had any college credit hours. However, in 1995 the high command began to institute massive reforms to transform the PLA from a labor-intensive force into a technology-intensive army. Continually seeking more urban conscripts and emphasizing higher education, the PLA Reserve Officer Training and Selection program recruited students from across the nation. These reservists would become commissioned officers upon graduation, and they majored in atomic physics, computer science, and electrical engineering. Grounding the text in previously unreleased official Chinese government and military records as well as the personal testimonies of more than two hundred PLA soldiers, Li charts the development of China’s armed forces against the backdrop of Chinese society, cultural traditions, political history, and recent technological advancements. A History of the Modern Chinese Army links China’s military modernization to the country’s growing international and economic power and provides a unique perspective on China’s esttablishment and maintenance of one of the world’s most advanced military forces.

Hong Kong 1862-1919 Cover

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Hong Kong 1862-1919

Years of Discretion

G.R. Sayer ,D.M.E. Evans

Geoffrey Robley Sayer (1887- 1962) completed this book before World War II as a sequel to his earlier work, Hong Kong: birth, adolescence and coming of age, which was published in 1937.

Hong Kong Internment, 1942-1945 Cover

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Hong Kong Internment, 1942-1945

Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley

Geoffrey Charles Emerson

Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley tells the story of the more than three thousand non-Chinese civilians: British, American, Dutch and others, who were trapped in the British colony and interned behind barbed wire in Stanley Internment Camp from 1942 to 1945. From 1970 to 1972, while researching for his MA thesis, the author interviewed twenty-three former Stanley internees.

Hong Kong Invaded! Cover

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Hong Kong Invaded!

A 'Ninety-Seven Nightmare

Gillian Bickley

This visionary novel by an anonymous author has been forgotten for a hundred years. Yet when published as The Back Door during the negotiations between Imperial China and Great Britain over the lease of the New Territories, the story aroused serious British fears about the possibility of defending Hong Kong against attack.

The Hong Kong Region 1850-1911 Cover

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The Hong Kong Region 1850-1911

Institutions and Leadership in Town and Countryside

James Hayes

First published in 1977, The Hong Kong Region is a historical reconstruction of village and township society in Hong Kong’s New Territories between 1850 and 1911. In a detailed study drawing on documentary sources and intensive fieldwork, James Hayes argues for the part taken by ordinary peasants and shopkeepers in running their own communities. It was they who dealt virtually unaided with routine administration of local affairs and with every form of disaster, natural or man-made, that visited their communities. The gentry and imperial bureaucracy, in contrast, played almost no role. In a substantial new introduction written for this Echoes reprint, James Hayes reviews the research behind The Hong Kong Region and assesses its wider implications for our understanding of traditional Chinese society in the light of later scholarly studies.

Hong Kong's Watershed Cover

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Hong Kong's Watershed

The 1967 Riots

Gary Ka-wai Cheung

The book provides an account of the 1967 riots in Hong Kong and the social background to the disturbances. It also details the impact of the riots, ranging from forcing the colonial government to introduce long overdue social reforms and adjust its governing strategy to reinforcing the cleavage between the left wing and the mainstream society.

Huangdi Neijing Cover

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Huangdi Neijing

A Synopsis with Commentaries

Translated and Annotated by Y. C. Kong

Neijing is traditional Chinese medicine; it encompasses all the central tenets of Chinese medicine practised today. Neijing zhiyao, in two volumes, compiled by Li Zhong-zi of the Ming dynasty, was carefully proof-read by Xue Sheng-bai of the Qing dynasty. Among the hundred or so annotated editions of Neijing Suwen and Lingshu that appeared in different formats and styles in previous generations, only Neijing zhiyao compiled by Mr. Li Nian-er of the Ming dynasty is the most succinct but pithy. —— from Sibu Zonglu Yiyaobian

The Huaqiao Warriors Cover

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The Huaqiao Warriors

Chinese Resistance Movement in the Philippines, 1942-45

Yuk-wai Yung Li

Among the extremely limited English language literature on the Chinese resistance movement in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation, this book is unique in making use of documents from the United States National Archives, supplemented by memorials and articles recently published in China and the Philippines.

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Images of the Immortal

The Cult of Lu Dongbin at the Palace of Eternal Joy

Paul R. Katz

The Palace of Eternal Joy (Yongle gong) is a mammoth cult site dedicated to one of late imperial China’s most popular deities, Lu Dongbin. In one of the first book-length studies of a Chinese sacred site, Paul Katz focuses on the Palace’s role in the development of Lu's legend. This highly innovative approach takes into account the various "histories" of the Palace presented in different texts and surpasses previous scholarship by stressing the ways in which the site both reflected and produced cultural diversity. Katz breaks new ground by analyzing the texts in terms of the textuality--the processes by which they were produced, transmitted, and understood. The study begins with a detailed description of the Palace of Eternal Joy and a brief account of its history. The reader is then introduced to the cult of Lu Dongbin. Special consideration is given to various hagiographical traditions, particularly those that influenced the growth of his cult at Yongle. Throughout late imperial China, a growing number of worshipers (among them scholar-officials, Taoist priests, artisans, and dramatists) created an ever-burgeoning variety of images of Lu, ranging from a patron god of ink-makers and prostitutes to a member of that powerful yet rambunctious group of spirits known as the Eight Immortals. In this context, the author explores the Perfect Realization Taoist movement's adoption of Lu's cult during the Jin and Yuan dynasties and highlight the social and religious factors that led to Lu's immense popularity in north China during the late imperial era. Katz next looks at the four type of inscriptions found at the Palace (commemorative, official, hagiographical, and poetic) and identifies the Palace patrons who worshiped there and contributed to its growth. In the description and analysis of the Palace murals that follow, he divides these works into two types: those painted to provide a setting for, and even an object of, Taoist rituals performed at the Palace; and those used to instruct Perfect Realization Taoists and perhaps pilgrims. The final section traces the reception of the Palace texts among the people of Yongle and its environs. Here Katz examines the ways in which patrons tried to impose their representations of the Palace’s history and the cult of Lu Dongbin on other members of the community and assesses the extent to which these efforts succeeded. Images of the Immortal is richly informed by a wide reading in social, cultural, and literary theory as well as a thorough awareness of previous work in comparative and Chinese religion. Scholars of Taoism, Chinese popular religion, and art history will find it especially rewarding for its thought-provoking reinterpretation of an important religious figure and his cult.

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