In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

acknowledgments this book, as sometimes happens, began as another one. Initially, I wanted to probe Chinese sensitivity to national humiliation over the past century. However, in pursuit of this goal, I kept running into the story of King Goujian, which spoke not only to national humiliation but to much else as well. Clearly, if I stayed with the original plan, I would have to omit vital parts of the Goujian story’s engagement with recent Chinese history, something I was increasingly reluctant to do. Elizabeth Sinn, to whom this book is lovingly dedicated, helped me out of this quandary by proposing that, instead of national humiliation, I consider writing on the impact of the Goujian story in all its facets. A simple suggestion, but also a radical one, as it meant a shift both in the book’s specific focus and in the broader issues that would ultimately form its intellectual core—above all, the relationship between story and history. Although only half realizing at the time the scholarly adventure that was in store for me, I eagerly accepted Elizabeth’s idea. In the years since then, she has responded patiently to my pestering about countless specific matters pertaining to the book, for which I am immensely grateful. But my main debt to her is for opening my mind to the possibilities of taking a turn in the road that I otherwise might not have chosen. I benefited from the assistance of many other people also. Timothy Brook, Keith Schoppa, and an anonymous reviewer read through the entire manuscript and, in addition to oªering much encouragement, pointed to ways x x i i i in which the book might be improved. Parks Coble, Perry Link, Rudolf Wagner , Roderick MacFarquhar, and Merle Goldman supplied useful advice on parts of the whole. I also profited from audience comments following talks at Indiana University, Harvard University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Hong Kong, and Wellesley and Carleton colleges. Once word got around that I was writing a book on the Goujian story in twentieth-century China, a number of colleagues alerted me to references to the story that I otherwise would surely have missed; I thank each of these individuals at the appropriate place in the backnotes. Special mention must be made here of the kindness of my old friend Wang Xi of Fudan University, who, in addition to sending me periodic e-mails containing useful information on the Goujian story, prevailed on a Fudan graduate student, Qin Ling, to scour the Shanghai Library for unusual sources on the story. Qin Ling supplied me with a list of more than two dozen items, for which I am much in his debt. I want to extend warm thanks to Lisa Cohen for photographing in Shaoxing the artwork that appears on the cover and for her skillful preparation of the digitized images for the book’s black-and-white illustrations; HueTam Ho Tai and Bonnie McDougall for helpful insight into the Goujian story and its influence; David Pillemer for leading me to some of the literature on storytelling in the field of cognitive psychology; John Ziemer for his usual judicious counsel on an array of bookmaking matters; Christopher Pitts for his deft copyediting; and Suzanne Knott for her expert handling of all phases of the book’s production. It has been a very special pleasure to work at last with Sheila Levine of the University of California Press. Sheila responded with keen interest when I first told her about the Goujian story over a meal some years ago and, once the manuscript was accepted, oversaw its transformation into a book with sensitivity and skill. I am indebted, finally, to the staªs of the Harvard-Yenching and University of Hong Kong libraries for facilitating my use of their fine collections, which formed the basis for much of my research; the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard for the supportive and stimulating intellectual environment from which, much to my good fortune, I have benefited for almost half a century; and the University of Hong Kong’s Centre of Asian Studies, which, during my frequent visits to Hong Kong over the past decade, has been my home away from home, generously providing me with a congenial place to work and making it possible for me to take full advantage of the university’s rich oªerings. a c k n o w l e d...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.