Two recent books illumine arenas of state practice in Qing and Republican China and/or in the People's Republic of China. One takes up state practice through the problem of the establishment of a national language in China's nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the other engages statecraft from the perspective of the 1950s efforts to collect data and account statistically for China's material conditions and its population. Each book contributes to narrower and broader areas of research and academic interest in China's and the world's modern history, and both could be of interest to scholars of nationalism, language, statistics, Chinese identity, and the Chinese state.

This essay discusses the following works. Arunabh Ghosh. Making It Count: Statistics and Statecraft in the Early People's Republic of China. Histories of Economic Life Series. Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020. 340 pp. Hardcover ($45.00), softcover ($32.95), or e-book. | Gina Anne Tam. Dialect and Nationalism in China: 1860–1960. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. 261 pp. Hardcover ($99.99), softcover ($29.99), or e-book.


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