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

176 China Review International: Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1995 from economic issues and by relying on multilateral pressure where the U.S. feels that a change in China's behavior is desirable. These recommendations make sense and are backed up with reliable facts. The arguments would be stronger if the emphasis on U.S.-China relations was explicitly the central theme. Also, in the first four chapters the readers must draw dieir own implications from the array of facts presented. Only in the last chapter does Lardy focus on big-picture scenarios along with policy recommendations for the U.S. Penelope B. Prime Kennesaw State College, Atlanta I^ Mabel Lee and A. D. Syrokomla-Stefanowska, editors. Modernization of the Chinese Past. University ofSydney School ofAsian Studies Series, no. 1. Canberra: Wild Peony, 1993. viii, 179 pp. Paperback $20.00. As its title suggests, Modernization ofthe Chinese Pastdeals widi die everfelt presence ofthe past as a force in shaping both the present and the future ofChina. The book consists ofa series of articles that were originally presented at the conference "The Empire Strikes Back—Restoration in China," which was held at die University of Sydney in July 1992, and die audiors ofthe twelve articles come mostly from universities in Australia. The conference centered on a supposed resurgence oftraditional values in recent years as China has struggled to find stability after the political, economic, and social upheavals of the past decades. No issue has so persistently troubled modern Sinology as how to reconcile China's past with its present attempts to "modernize" and "globalize," and diis book offers a good introduction to the many different views on this subject. It begins with the premise that the Chinese are turning back to their own past in order to answer some oftoday's problems. Each author then explores die repercussions ofthis new traditionalism from a different angle, often coming to very different conclusions. While all the articles revolve around a common dieme, the book actually seems to be concerned with two different though closely related topics. Many of ?1??G, rT . the articles deal with new efforts in China to understand die modern world© 1995 by University ofHawai'iPresswithin a traditional context, thus leading to a resurgence oftraditional models such as Confucianism, reworked to meet die requirements of a new generation. The first three articles of the book, grouped togedier under die heading of "Con- Reviews 177 fucianism and Modernity," fall mainly within this category. Most notably, Gloria Davies gives an interesting analysis ofthe efforts of those like Tu Wei-ming who attempt to make Confucianism relevant in the context of "modernization" and "globalization," therefore providing modern Chinese communities (Davies focuses on Singapore) with a distinctly Chinese context for development. Many other articles , especially those dealing with literature or the arts, also discuss recent tendencies to interpret the modern world through traditional tìiemes. Among these, Mark Elvin's "Secular Karma: The Communist Revolution Understood in Traditional Chinese Terms" deserves mention. It offers a helpful summary ofSima Zhongyuan's novel The Bastard (Niezhong), which understands the origins of the Communist revolution through traditional ideas of communal guilt and karmic retribution. Also not to be overlooked is Benjamin Penny's "Qigong, Daoism and Science: Some Contexts for the QigongBoom," which has a very interesting analysis of efforts to establish a historical legitimacy for this relatively new phenomenon. In addition to a new traditionalism, the book also treats die use of tradition as a vehicle for radically new concepts. Articles dealing widi diis topic range from Mabel Lee's summary ofYang Lian's use ofthe Book ofChanges (Yijing) for poetic inspiration to Lewis Mayo's analysis ofpeasant imagery as a representation of the "primordial past" in modern film. The subject matter of these articles necessarily limits their discussions to the expressions of a very few individuals, but tiiey nonetheless offer revealing insights into the directions of modern Chinese culture. The second group of articles deals not widi a conscious use ofdie past, but rather with perceived continuities between the past and the present. In particular, the two articles under die heading "Politics and Society," dealing widi die Chinese legal system and questions of morality, both...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 176-180
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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