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Reviews 177 ionable because it is not durable (in more senses than one). Ha Jin is a good writer and demonstrates the talent to become a much better one. His tar may be rising and should be watched. Jack J. Gerson University ofToronto Jack Gerson's attachment to Chinese studies began in 1938 where itprogressed through three-and-a-halfdegrees, and seven sojourns in China between 1948 and 1990 as administrator, scholar and teacher; he is still going at age 75. Linda Cooke Johnson. Shanghai: From Market Town to Treaty Port, 10741858 . Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995. ix, 440 pp. Hardcover $49.50, isbn 0-8047-2294-3. This book grew out of the author's doctoral dissertation, in which she speculated on the relationship oftwo Jiangnan cities, Suzhou and Shanghai, cities that had clearly reversed their historical roles by the twentieth century. In her dissertation, Johnson examined the decline ofSuzhou, a prefectural city ofconsiderable historical importance, and the rise ofthe modest "fishing village" ofShanghai. The book's primary focus, however, is Shanghai from the eleventh century to the midnineteenth century, a time frame broad enough to establish historical continuity and to make "the enduring, traditional components ofChinese society at Shanghai more conspicuous" (p. 13). This book is also an attempt to move away from the established discourse, which divides Shanghai's history starting from 1843, the year in which it was opened as a treaty port and exposed to Western influences. The author's expressed hope is to dispel the "myths attaching to Shanghai," particularly the idea that "fhe impact ofthe West was primarily responsible for propelling China into early modernization, and its reverse interpretation, that the West failed in this mission, and Shanghai became part ofthe 'other China'" (p. 5). This, ofcourse, is a reference to the standard and highly respected works on Shanghai by John King Fairbank, Rhoads Murphey, and Marie Claire Bergère, among others. The author softens this critique by agreeing that the "diachronic© 1997 by University frameworks" between her own study and that ofMurpheyor Bergère, who examined post-treaty-port Shanghai, may account for the apparent differences in interpretation . To Johnson, the social and economic structure and institutions in place before 1843 remained traditional and effective, with change occurring within 178 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1997 the parameters set by patterns oflate imperial urban development comparable to what happened in other cities like Suzhou, Hangzhou, or Hankou as elucidated by recent scholarship. This volume, therefore, represents an attempt to fill in the gaps in fhe evergrowing body of English-language studies on what we know of the historical development ofpre-treaty-port Shanghai. To fhat end it is a descriptive analysis, drawn from recent Chinese scholarship on urbanization that focuses on the geographical rise ofShanghai and the surrounding region, as well as the older gazetteer (difangzhi) sources, rich in detail about local history and economy. It appropriately begins with a discussion of the geomorphology of fhe Yangzi delta and the gradual formation ofthe Shanghai region, due mosdy to natural forces but also to man-made intervention through the building ofretaining dikes and seawalls , notably the Hanhai dike constructed around a.d. 713 to protect the new agricultural land. Profiting from the pioneering works ofMark Elvin and G. William Skinner on the medieval revolution in marketing structure and urbanization, this study illuminates the various factors responsible for Shanghai's evolution and advancement in the traditional urban hierarchy. The village of Hudu that predated the town of Shanghai is identifiable in records from the Tang dynasty, but it was not until the eleventh century that Shanghai was officially recognized as a market town, and subsequendy, after approximately one hundred years of growth, as a shi or market city. This was pardy due to the geological shift that widened the Huangpu River, giving Shanghai better access to the sea, a shift that also resulted in the commercial decline ofthe port city ofQinglong. By the late thirteenth century, with the bureau in Qinglong permanendy closed, official commercial activities were to be regulated by the Office of Overseas Trade that opened in Shanghai. But Ming dynasty governmental policies, including die relocation ofdie national capital...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 177-180
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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