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Reviews 209 Hard-pressed and facing increasingly difficult choices, die state opted for projects and regions where, from its larger perspective, investment promised the greatest and quickest rewards, even to die point of discouraging and foiling local efforts that might have ameliorated or solved local problems. This is a richly nuanced book that deserves close attention. Its author appreciates analytical models about China's economic and political character and evolution and dieir strengths and weaknesses, but he does not leave diem sacrosanct. How Pomeranz' unravelings will find dieir way into broader surveys ofmodern Chinese history will be the real test. Edward J. Lazzerini University ofNew Orleans David Pong. Shen Pao-chen and China's Modernization in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge, New York, and Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1994. xviii, 395 pp. Hardcover $54.95. Samuel C. Chu and Kwang-Ching Liu, editors. Li Hung-chang and China's Early Modernization. Armonk and London: M. E. Sharpe, 1994. xi, 308 pp. Hardcover $49.95. Paperback $22.50. Much of the contents of these two books will be known to those who keep up with scholarship on the late Qing, but both are nevertheless welcome contributions . David Pong has published over some years a long list ofhigh-quality articles on Shen Baozhen and odier related matters in nineteenth-century history; now it is good to have his full-lengdi treatment ofShen's career. Most ofthe Li book has already appeared, some ofit as a series ofarticles in Chinese Studies in History (CSH) (1990-1991); two articles are new (by Richard J. Smith and Thomas L. Kennedy), and die volume also includes two older articles by K. C. Liu, one from the Harvard Journal ofAsiatic Studies (1970) and one from the 1967 book Approaches to Modern Chinese History. The four articles that were not in CSHadd substantially to the volume's weight. Indeed, it is time to begin thinking ofPro-© 1995 h ? ' tv fessor Liu's articles as classics; Sam Chu was wise to suggest including them. ofHawai'i PressThe two books complement and reinforce each other, and not onlybecause David Pong is also a contributor to the Li anthology and deals widi die relationship between Li and Shen. Professor Pong is careful to point out that there were 210 China Review International: Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1995 differences as well as similarities between the lives and careers of the two men, but his emphasis rightly falls on the parallels and how die two tried to work together to further their many common modernization aims. The two books thus point to the efforts of two highly talented and farsighted men to promote China's "selfstrengthening " and to die many obstacles that blocked tiieir path. Both books want their protagonists to get their due, and while much is claimed for both Li and Shen their failures are not ignored; still, it is clear that Professor Pong wants Shen to be given more recognition as an important and creative reformer than he has received heretofore, and tìiat professors Liu and Chu want to have existing evaluations of Li revised upward. In a rather brief introductory essay, for example, Professor Liu views Li in the broad historical context of statecraft and finds diat he put into practice what Wei Yuan had sketched decades earlier, concluding that Li pioneered not only in military self-strengthening but also in state building and general economic development : "scholars have yet to do justice" to Li's efforts in these areas, he claims (p. 9). The general conclusion to this chapter is the following: "There were enough cases of comparative success in the record of China's late-nineteenth-century modernization to justify their being considered as precursors ofthe considerable economic development in the China of die early twentieth century __ Research on Li's role in the statecraft and reform of die late Ch'ing [Qing] period has barely begun." Professor Chu, in a lengthier concluding assessment, also suggests tìiat Li has been judged too harshly. In this chapter the evidence is weighed judiciously and widi a palpably strenuous effort to be candid and fair. Every wart is put under the microscope, from allegations of corruption and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 209-212
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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