In The New Middle Kingdom, Kendall A. Johnson argues that—for the merchant princes who speculated in the global Far East, as well as the missionaries and diplomats who followed them—Manifest Destiny spurred more than the coalescence of the fractious regions into the continental Far West. It also promised a golden gateway to the Pacific Ocean through which the nation would realize its historical destiny as the world’s new Middle Kingdom of commerce. Examining the influential accounts of westerners at the center of early US cultural development abroad, Johnson conceives a romance of free trade with China as a quest narrative of national accomplishment in a global marketplace.
Drawing from a richly descriptive cross-cultural archive, the book presents key moments in early relations among the twenty-first century’s superpowers through memoirs, biographies, epistolary journals, magazines, book reviews, fiction and poetry by Melville, Twain, Whitman, and others, travel narratives, and treaties, as well as maps and engraved illustrations. Paying close attention to figurative language, generic forms, and the social dynamics of print cultural production and circulation, Johnson shows how authors, editors, and printers appealed to multiple overlapping audiences in China, in the United States, and throughout the world. Spanning a full century, from the post–Revolutionary War era to the Gilded Age, The New Middle Kingdom is a vivid look at the Far East through Western eyes, one that highlights the importance of China in antebellum US culture.
Kendall A. Johnson is an associate professor of American studies and the head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Henry James and the Visual and the editor of Narratives of Free Trade: The Commercial Cultures of Early US–China Relations.
This book, which relies on documents previously unavailable to both Western and Chinese researchers, demonstrates how Western technology and evolving traditional values resulted in the birth of a unique form of print capitalism whose influence on Chinese culture was far-reaching and irreversible. Its conclusion contests scholarly arguments that view China's technological development as slowed by culture, or that interpret Chinese modernity as mere cultural continuity.
A vital reevaluation of Chinese modernity, Gutenberg in Shanghai will be enthusiastically received by scholars of Chinese history and by specialists in cultural studies, political science, sociology, the history of the book, and the anthropology of science and technology.
From the angle of the interaction between the merchant and modern society, this book examines the factors behind the rise of the merchant class in China, in terms of its cultural traits, inner structure, and business modes. First, it analyzes the features and historical standings of merchant culture which came into existence on the basis of reworking and integrating Neo-Confucianism. It argues that merchant culture pushed China’s early enlightenment movement to a new level. Then the rise of the bourgeoisie and their role in the evolution of modern Chinese society are studied thoroughly. More importantly, by examining the "golden age" of the merchant after the 1911 Revolution and its end brought by the Northern Expedition, this book studies the dilemmas faced by Chinese merchants. Finally, it probes into the reasons why it was hard for China to go beyond modern society, that is, completing the transition from commodity economy to capitalist economy.
This book will deepen the understanding of China’s merchant class and modern Chinese society. Scholars and students in economics, history, sociology, and cultural studies will be attracted by it.
For more than forty years, the United States has played an indispensable role helping the Chinese government build a booming economy, develop its scientific and military capabilities, and take its place on the world stage, in the belief that China's rise will bring us cooperation, diplomacy, and free trade. But what if the "China Dream" is to replace us, just as America replaced the British Empire, without firing a shot?
Based on interviews with Chinese defectors and newly declassified, previously undisclosed national security documents, The Hundred-Year Marathon reveals China's secret strategy to supplant the United States as the world's dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. Michael Pillsbury, a fluent Mandarin speaker who has served in senior national security positions in the U.S. government since the days of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, draws on his decades of contact with the "hawks" in China's military and intelligence agencies and translates their documents, speeches, and books to show how the teachings of traditional Chinese statecraft underpin their actions. He offers an inside look at how the Chinese really view America and its leaders – as barbarians who will be the architects of their own demise.
Pillsbury also explains how the U.S. government has helped – sometimes unwittingly and sometimes deliberately – to make this "China Dream" come true, and he calls for the United States to implement a new, more competitive strategy toward China as it really is, and not as we might wish it to be. The Hundred-Year Marathon is a wake-up call as we face the greatest national security challenge of the twenty-first century.