Hygienic Modernity: Meanings of Health and Disease in Treaty-Port China

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University of California Press, Nov 29, 2004 - History - 401 pages
"Brilliantly conceived and superbly researched, this excellent study charts the transnational forces and circulating discourses on health that helped constitute a modern concept of hygiene in China. Over the course of the twentieth century the state, scientists, physicians, and the military all came to participate in the health management of aggregated populations, and eventually in the fitness of the race and nation. Insightfully placed within the context of a global modernity and the layered imperialisms of Japan and the "West," this is transnational history writing at its best. Indeed, it is one of the finest books we now have on modernity in East Asia."—Takashi Fujitani, University of California, San Diego, and author of Perilous Memories: The Asia-Pacific War

"Rogaski examines health and disease in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, from the years before it was opened as a treaty port to the early People's Republic. She shows how weisheng, or "hygienic modernity," was adopted by foreigners and local elites in the service of imperialism, national strength, and revolution.  Hygienic Modernity breaks new intellectual ground in our understanding of imperialism, providing local texture and transnational reach. It is ingeniously researched and elegantly argued."—Gail Hershatter, author of Dangerous Pleasures: Prostitution and Modernity in Twentieth-Century Shanghai

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About the author (2004)

Ruth Rogaski is Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University.

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