American Doctors in Canton: Modernization in China, 1835-1935

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Transaction Publishers, 2011 - History - 343 pages

Traditional Chinese medicine developed over thousands of years, but changes introduced from 1835-1935 by American missionary doctors initiated a landslide of cultural revolution in the city of Canton and medical modernization throughout China. Focusing on medical missionaries' ideas and approaches in a principal city of the period, Canton, Guangqiu Xu, a native of Canton, describes the long-term impact of American models of medical work, which are still in place in China today.

Despite stiff resistance to change and Chinese suspicion of foreign ideas, the impact of American medical missionaries was profound. They opened medical schools, trained modern doctors, and promoted public health education. These transformations in turn led to major social movements in the modernization of Canton, such as the women's rights movement, modern charity and welfare systems, and modern hygiene campaigns.

This book focuses on the changes American doctors brought to Canton, their implementation, what remains of their influence today, and how some of these transformations have spread across China. It shows that the Chinese have themselves become more responsive to cultural relations with the US as part of the acceptance of these changes, and demonstrates how the unique blend of modern Western and traditional Chinese medicines has helped modernize China and make Canton the cradle of modern reform and revolution in China.


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About the author (2011)

Guangqiu Xu is professor of history at Friends University. He is the author of three other books: Congress and the U.S.-China Relationships, 1949-1979,which won the 2008 Best Adult Book Award from the Chinese American Librarians Association; Imperial China, 617-1644; and War Wings: The United States and the Chinese Military Aviation, 1929-1949. He also has published many articles in professional journals.

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