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Reviews 91 A good and timely work, ReachingAcross the Taiwan Straitis truly a fitting sequel to Island China. Lauren Moriarty The reviewer, a career Foreign Service Officer, served most recently as Diplomat-inResidence at the East-West Center in Honolulu. The views and opinions expressed in this review are solely her own and do not necessarily represent those ofthe U.S. Government. NOTES1. This and the following quote are from a 6 March 1994 speech by Dr. Koo Chen-fu, Chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation, to me Pacific Forum/CSIS in Honolulu, Hawai'i. 2. Ralph N. Clough, Island China (Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London: Harvard University Press, 1978). This book, long a standard reference on Taiwan, deals comprehensively with the island's post-World War II development. F F Benjamin A. Elman. Classicism, Politics, and Kinship: The Ch'ang-chou School ofNew Text Confucianism in Late Imperial China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. xxxiii, 409 pp. Hardcover $45. In Classicism, Politics, and Kinship, Benjamin Elman examines the historical development of New Text Confucianism during die latter part of the Ch'ing dynasty. He focuses on the social and political dimensions of the intellectual changes Aiat led to New Text Confucianism, and he illustrates how the classical tradition was intimately related to social and political power. While his topic in a narrow sense is the Ch'ang-chou origins of the nineteenth-century New Text movement, his discussion actually covers a broad range of questions. Elman brings to this study several concerns that are critical in shaping his approach . He is interested in counteracting two common tendencies: looking at events primarily from the perspective of later developments, and examining ideas in isolation from their social and political contexts. He thus employs a perspective that emphasizes the multiple contexts contributing to the development of events. His task is not without difficulty, however, for in providing a developmental ac-© 1994 by University count, he must also avoid the often faulty assumptions oflinear accounts. ofHawai'i PressElman begins by considering the definition of a school of thought and by pointing out certain political, economic, and social changes that had become im- 92 China Review International: Vol. 1, No. 2, Fall 1994 portant by the late Ming. Observing that Aie Chinese Aiemselves traditionally understood philosophical ideas in terms of schools, Elman maintains that it is possible to be fairly specific when speaking of an intellectual tradition at a particular time in a particular place, despite the variety of meanings of the concept of school. He further describes how lineages were related to schools of fhought and to the state from the late Ming period into the Ch'ing. In other words, it is insufficient for the historian to see ideas only in terms of individual thinkers. Ideas belonged to intellectual traditions, which tended to be based in specific geographical areas and grounded in specific lineages. Lineages, but not individuals, possessed the cultural resources, from lineage schools to family members in high governmental positions, necessary to support scholarship. Delving into the social dimension, Elman provides a detailed ouAine of the historical rise of Aie two lineages responsible for founding the New Text school in Ch'ang-chou. These two lineages, the Chuang and Liu, both successfully survived the transition from Ming to Ch'ing. The Chuangs moved south during the eleventh century and began their rise to power during the late fifteenfh century. Remaining prominent until the nineteenth century, the Chuangs produced numerous degree holders and high-ranking officials. Intermarrying with the Chuangs, the Liu lineage traced its ancestry in Ch'ang-chou to the mid-fourteenth century. Also achieving remarkable success in obtaining degrees and governmental positions , the Lius maintained high status from the late sixteenth century to the nineteenth century. Elman's discussion here leaves no doubt as to the interrelationships among the political, social, economic, and intellectual spheres. After establishing the importance of the Chuang and Liu lineages as a social base, Elman examines various aspects of the intellectual and political contexts Aiat contributed to forming the Ch'ang-chou New Text school. Although the philological movement of Han Learning occupied leading Chinese scholars during the eighteenAi century, the examinations...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 91-96
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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