Republican Beijing: The City and Its Histories

Front Cover
University of California Press, Aug 4, 2003 - History - 380 pages
Old Beijing has become a subject of growing fascination in contemporary China since the 1980s. While physical remnants from the past are being bulldozed every day to make space for glass-walled skyscrapers and towering apartment buildings, nostalgia for the old city is booming. Madeleine Yue Dong offers the first comprehensive history of Republican Beijing, examining how the capital acquired its identity as a consummately "traditional" Chinese city.

For residents of Beijing, the heart of the city lay in the labor-intensive activities of "recycling," a primary mode of material and cultural production and circulation that came to characterize Republican Beijing. An omnipresent process of recycling and re-use unified Beijing's fragmented and stratified markets into one circulation system. These material practices evoked an air of nostalgia that permeated daily life. Paradoxically, the "old Beijing" toward which this nostalgia was directed was not the imperial capital of the past, but the living Republican city. Such nostalgia toward the present, the author argues, was not an empty sentiment, but an essential characteristic of Chinese modernity.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
From Imperial Capital to Republican City
21
The City and Its People
54
The City and the Nation
78
Beijing in a New Economic System
105
Man making a cloisonné bowl
115
Spatial and Temporal Hierarchies
142
outdoor market
166
68
196
83
203
Examining Urban Ills
211
94
220
115
226
117
239
Recording Old Beijing
246
Writing New Beijing
266

The Tianqiao District
172
23
178
39
186
133
327
166
365
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Madeleine Yue Dong is Associate Professor of History at the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington.

Bibliographic information