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6o China Review International: Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 1998 with that relate specifically to a given country's social and economic future, and relevant questions are brought to the attention of the reader. Another major strength is the book's focus on globalization. The analysis shows that each country is not independent but tied to the others by economic interchange, and the repercussions of any specific event in one country can be felt throughout the world. All of these strengths make Asian Development Outlook 1996 and 1997both interesting and informative. There are also weaknesses. Historical background is not provided for any of the countries discussed, and the book would have been improved by the inclusion of some information on social issues in these countries. Since the text is technical, readers are expected to have a good understanding of economics. There are many abbreviations throughout, which hinders reading; however, the additional pages with definitions, abbreviations, and acronyms are helpful. In summary, Asia remains the fastest growing region in the world, and this book will be useful to those who are interested in studying both the world economy and the economic progress of developing member countries in the Asia-Pacific region. David C. Yang University of Hawai'i at Mänoa David C. Yang is a professor ofaccounting at the UH's College ofBusiness Administration specializing in international accounting. mm Carol Benedict. Bubonic Plague in Nineteenth-Century China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996. xx, 256 pp. Hardcover $35.00, isbn 08047 -2661-2. Humanity has experienced a worldwide epidemic ofbubonic plague three times, and on each occasion it took an enormous toll. In the first two instances, during the sixth century and the fourteenth century, the plague killed altogether 175 million people in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Carol Benedict's new book focuses on the third epidemic, which originated in China and was even more widey mverst y Spreacj than the first two. Although there are some superb scholarly studies on the history ofplagues in particular, and on both worldwide and regional outbreaks of disease in general, such as the studies by William McNeill and Philip Curtin,1 BuofHawai 'i Press Reviews 61 bonic Plague in Nineteenth-Century China has made a new and important contribution to the social history of disease in China. The term wenyi has quite a broad meaning in Chinese, as does the English word "epidemic." The Chinese have recorded a variety ofdisasters in their histories and local gazetteers; from these historical documents, especially those concerning wars and natural disasters, we often find terms such as wenyi liuxing (widespread plague) and dayi (devastating epidemic). In recent times, public health offices at the provincial, county, and city levels in China have compiled and published weisheng shiliao (historical materials on public health) or yiqing shiliao (historical materials on the spread ofepidemics), and Chinese historians of disease have written numerous studies. One ofthe most important is Zhongguo shuyi liuxingshi (The history ofthe spread ofplague in China),2 in which are collected the reports on plagues from local public-health departments throughout China. Benedict recognizes the importance of such materials and uses them abundandy to construct her own analysis. There are two basic approaches to studying plagues from a social-historical point ofview: one is to look at the impact ofplagues on society and the other is to look at society's response to them. Benedict's book focuses on the latter, dealing only marginally with the social consequences ofbubonic plague, such as population decrease, economic crisis, and changes in rural and urban life. There is a huge amount of such historical material available in Chinese on these kinds of issues, but Benedict appears to have only two objectives: to explain how the plague spread and how society responded to it. The first three chapters are aimed at achieving the first goal. Based on G. W. Skinner's macroregional theory, Benedict analyzes the diffusion pattern ofbubonic plague. Skinner's theory has been widely employed by historians of Chinese history to examine various aspects of Chinese society, including the economic, political, and cultural. Benedict, however, is the first to emphasize a connection between the spread ofplagues and trade routes, and...


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