Knitting with steel

NYT reports (via CDT) that China is offering to help California build a high-speed rail network. The Times’ take is that the worm has certainly turned if China is giving California high technology (and capital.) More interesting to me is the historical background of the current Chinese high-speed rail system. The Times gives us this […]

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Revolution in pictures

Here, from Stapleton’s Civilizing Chengdu is Yang Wei, Chinese Revolutionary, in prison, November 25, 1911. Below is a picture of Yang as superintendent of police in March 1912. I use both of these in class when talking about 1911, but I am posting the top one here because it is such a striking picture. It’s […]

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Indiana Jones -Busted

The people in the reading room at Shaanxi Provincial Archives are really nice and helpful and professional. Unlike some archives they will let you look at things that are not directly connected to your approved research topic. They will also let you drink tea right there in the reading room while reading documents. On the […]

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Tehran, Tiananmen, Taiwan?

There was a post up, briefly, At Edge of the American West Dana captured some of the emerging themes of the discussion [link added] on Iranian democracy, including the fact that Mousavi, from whom the election seems to have been stolen, isn’t really all that nice, liberal or different from Ahmedinajad, especially since the presidency […]

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A sinologist in Iraq

Graham Peck’s Two Kinds of Time has been re-issued. This is good news for everyone, and especially for those of us who got a copy for Christmas. (Thanks Sis!) For a number of years all that one was likely to find even in used bookstores was the Sentry edition (1967), which re-printed only the first […]

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Chinese in the Great War

As it is 11/11 Blood and Treasure has a nice post up on Chinese laborers along with a link with lots of great pics. B&T suggests that Chinese laborers in the War are getting more attention in Europe. There has actually been less written on actuall Chinese laborers than you might think, although of course […]

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Red Star Over Edgar Snow

Edgar Snow’s birthday is sometime this week but they can’t agree on which day it is. The 1972 obituary in the omniscient NY Times had it as July 19, 1905, as does his most careful biography1. But maybe it’s July 17 if you go with the University of Missouri Archives, which has his papers and […]

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You lost to a girl?

Reading through 中华民国文化史 (Cultural History of the Chinese Republic)1 I found something interesting in the section on 国术. 国术 is a term for what today would be called 武术, i.e. martial arts. Although there was a lot of interest in physical education in China in the 20s and 30s traditional martial arts were not part […]

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It's the shoes

For people who have read Sherman Cochran it is not news that Chinese merchants developed brand names and consumers developed brand loyalty. Cochran mostly focuses on an earlier period (and the medicine business) but Lang Jing looks at the athletic shoe industry.1 Lang is looking at the development of modern athletics in Shanghai. One issue […]

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