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Travel Guide 2   >   Hong Kong   >   History

   
 

Hong Kong Chinese History


Here are some books about the history of Hong Kong:


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Books about Hong Kong Chinese History


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A History of Hong Kong

By Frank Welsh

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Paperback (688 pages)

A History of Hong Kong
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In 1842 a "barren island" was reluctantly ceded by China to an unenthusiastic Britain. "Hong Kong", grumbled Palmerston, "will never be a mart of trade". But from the outset the new colony prospered, its early growth owing much to the energy and resourcefulness of opium traders, who soon diversified in more respectable directions. In 1859 the Kowloon Peninsula was sold to Britain, and in 1898 a further area of the mainland, the "New Territories", was leased to Britain for 99 years - the arrangement from which the present difficulties spring. Despite its extraordinary economic success, which has made it one of the world's leading commercial centres, Hong Kong has never quite shaken off the raffishness of its early days. It has continued to be a source of embarrassment to British governments, and now, as its enforced return to China approaches, its future is the focus of worldwide attention and speculation. This work is an evocation of Hong Kong and the characters of those who shaped it, from its buccaneering origins to its post-war growth.

A Modern History of Hong Kong

By Steve Tsang

imusti
Released: 2007-09-04
Paperback (352 pages)

A Modern History of Hong Kong
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Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance (Public Worlds)

By Ackbar Abbas

Brand: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Paperback (168 pages)

Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance (Public Worlds)
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A consideration of what the culture of Hong Kong tells us about the state of the world at the fin-de-siecle.

"In a space of disappearance, in the unprecedented historical situation that Hong Kong finds itself in of being caught between two colonialities (Britain's and China's), there is a desperate attempt to clutch at images of identity, however alien or cliched these images are. There is a need to define a sense of place through buildings and other means, at the moment when such a sense of place (fragile to begin with) is being threatened with erasure by a more and more insistently globalizing space".

On June 30, 1997, Hong Kong as we know it will disappear, ceasing its singular and ambiguous existence as a colonial holdover and becoming part of the People's Republic of China. In an intriguing and provocative exploration of its cinema, architecture, photography, and literature, Ackbar Abbas considers what Hong Kong, with its unique relations to decolonization and disappearance, can teach us about the future of both the colonial city and the global city.

The culture of Hong Kong encompasses Jackie Chart and John Woo, British colonial architecture and postmodern skyscrapers. Ironically, it was not until they were faced with the imposition of Mainland power -- with the signing of the Sino British Joint Agreement in 1984 -- that the denizens of the colony began the search for a Hong Kong identity. According to Abbas, Hong Kong's peculiar lack of identity is due to its status as "not so much a place as a space of transit", whose residents think of themselves as transients and migrants on their way from China to somewhere else.

Abbas explores the way Hong Kong's media saturationchanges its people's experience of space so that it becomes abstract, dominated by signs and images that dispel memory, history, and presence.

Hong Kong disappears through simple dualities such as East/West and tradition/modernity. What is missing from a view of Hong Kong as merely a colony is the paradox that Hong Kong has benefited from and made a virtue of its dependent colonial status, turning itself into a global and financial city and outstripping its colonizer in terms of wealth.

Combining sophisticated theory and a critical perspective, this rich and thought-provoking work captures the complex situation of the metropolis that is contemporary Hong Kong. Along the way, it challenges, entertains, and makes an important contribution to our thinking about the surprising processes and consequences of colonialism.

A Concise History of Hong Kong (Critical Issues in World and International History)

By John M. Carroll

Brand: Rowman Littlefield Publishers
Paperback (288 pages)

A Concise History of Hong Kong (Critical Issues in World and International History)
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When the British occupied the tiny island of Hong Kong during the First Opium War, the Chinese empire was well into its decline, while Great Britain was already in the second decade of its legendary "Imperial Century." From this collision of empires arose a city that continues to intrigue observers. Melding Chinese and Western influences, Hong Kong has long defied easy categorization. John M. Carroll's engrossing and accessible narrative explores the remarkable history of Hong Kong from the early 1800s through the post-1997 handover, when this former colony became a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The book explores Hong Kong as a place with a unique identity, yet also a crossroads where Chinese history, British colonial history, and world history intersect. Carroll concludes by exploring the legacies of colonial rule, the consequences of Hong Kong's reintegration with China, and significant developments and challenges since 1997.

Architect of Prosperity: Sir John Cowperthwaite and the Making of Hong Kong

By Neil Monnery

London Publishing Partnership
Hardcover (320 pages)

Architect of Prosperity: Sir John Cowperthwaite and the Making of Hong Kong
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At the end of the Second World War, Hong Kong lived up to its description as “the barren island.” It had few natural resources, its trade and infrastructure lay in tatters, its small manufacturing base had been destroyed and its income per capita was less than a quarter of its mother country, Britain. As a British colony it fell to a small number of civil servants to confront these difficult challenges, largely alone. But by the time of the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, it was one of the most prosperous nations on Earth. By 2015 its GDP per capita was over 40% higher than Britain's. How did that happen? Around the world, post-war governments were turning to industrial planning, Keynesian deficits and high inflation to stimulate their economies. How much did the civil servants in Hong Kong adopt from this emerging global consensus? Virtually nothing. They rejected the idea that governments should play an active role in industrial planning - instead believing in the ability of entrepreneurs to find the best opportunities. They rejected the idea of spending more than the government raised in taxes - instead aiming to keep a year's spending as a reserve. They rejected the idea of high taxes - instead keeping taxes low, believing that private investment would earn high returns, and expand the long-term tax base. This strategy was created and implemented by no more than a handful of men over a fifty-year period. Perhaps the most important of them all was John Cowperthwaite, who ran the trade and industry department after the war and then spent twenty years as deputy and then actual Financial Secretary before his retirement in 1971. He, more than anyone, shaped the economic policies of Hong Kong for the quarter century after the war and set the stage for a remarkable economic expansion. His resolve was tested constantly over his period in office, and it was only due to his determination, independence, and intellectual rigor that he was not diverted from the path in which he believed so strongly. This book examines the man behind the story, and the successful economic policies that he and others crafted with the people of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong: The History and Legacy of Asia’s Leading Financial Center

By Charles River Editors

Charles River Editors
Audible Audiobook

Hong Kong: The History and Legacy of Asia’s Leading Financial Center
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"Hong Kong has always been a dynamic and exciting and high-energy city, and it has that New York thing going on, and people here care about how they look." - Mickey Drexler

In the 21st century, Hong Kong needs very little introduction to the general public, as it has become a major economic power in the world with a name as recognizable as London, New York, or Berlin. In fact, numerous textile and other products bear the familiar label "Made in Hong Kong". However, this was not always the case. This position as a major economic world market is relatively recent having only been established in the second half of the 20th century.

The history of Hong Kong and life there before its rise to power is difficult to trace as it was not necessarily a major geographical region such as the United Kingdom which could defend and develop separately from mainland Europe because it was an island. Rather, Hong Kong, as the region is known today, is a land consisting of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories, and more than 200 islands totaling 1,106 square kilometers of land. The region itself was likely largely ignored given the rough geography. The land itself is rather difficult to develop, being mountainous and hilly, resulting in less than 25 percent of the land available being developed in the modern era (Wong 2015: 19). Still, the land shows signs of prehistoric activity. 

Hong Kong: The History and Legacy of Asia's Leading Financial Center chronicles the turbulent history of Hong Kong, and how it became one of the wealthiest places in the world despite its challenging political environment. Listen and you will learn about Hong Kong like never before.

Making Hong Kong: A History of its Urban Development

By Pui-yin Ho

Edward Elgar Pub
Released: 2018-09-28
Hardcover (496 pages)

Making Hong Kong: A History of its Urban Development
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This insightful book provides a comprehensive survey of urban development in Hong Kong since 1841. Pui-yin Ho explores the ways in which the social, economic and political environments of different eras have influenced the city's development. From colonial governance, wartime experiences, high density development and adjustments before and after 1997 through contemporary challenges, this book explores forward-looking ideas that urban planning can offer to lead the city in the future.

Evaluating the relationship between town planning and social change, this book looks at how a local Hong Kong identity emerged in the face of conflict and compromise between Chinese and European cultures. In doing so, it brings a fresh perspective to urban research, providing historical context and direction for the future development of the city. Hong Kong's urban development experience offers not only a model for other Chinese cities but also a better understanding of Asian cities more broadly.

Urban studies scholars will find this an exemplary case study of a developing urban landscape. Town planners and architects will also benefit from reading this comprehensive book as it shows how Hong Kong can be taken to the next stage of urban development and modernisation.

Hong Kong Apothecary: a Visual History of Chinese Medicine Packaging

By Simon Go

MCCM Creations
Released: 2003-06-30
Paperback (200 pages)

Hong Kong Apothecary: a Visual History of Chinese Medicine Packaging
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This book transports us to the exotic world of Chinese Medicine – a world of saan (powders), yun (pills), gou (plasters), dann (pellets), etc for every known ailment. These forms had a direct influence on the materials, typefaces, patterns, and compositions used in packaging. It documents contemporary changes in the packaging of Chinese patent medicines and stores since the mid-19th.

Hong Kong: A Cultural and Literary History

By Chris Bale

Brand: The Chinese University Press
Hardcover (124 pages)

Hong Kong: A Cultural and Literary History
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More than 400 photographs capture both Hong Kong's frenetic city life and the beauty of its unspoilt countryside, the sophistication of its modern urban environment and fading memories of a gentler past. Former television news presenter and interviewer Chris Bale spoke to ten Hong Kong people, gaining contrasting perspectives on Hong Kong, past and present.


 
 
 

 
 
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