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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 Modern History of Hong Kong: 1841-1997

By Steve Tsang

Tsang, Steve Yui-Sang
Released: 2007-08-15
Paperback (352 pages)

A Modern History of Hong Kong: 1841-1997
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This major history of Hong Kong tells the remarkable story of how a cluster of remote fishing villages grew into an icon of capitalism. The story began in 1842 with the founding of the Crown Colony after the First Anglo-Chinese war - the original 'Opium War'. As premier power in Europe and an expansionist empire, Britain first created in Hong Kong a major naval station and the principal base to open the Celestial Chinese Empire to trade. Working in parallel with the locals, the British built it up to become a focus for investment in the region and an international centre with global shipping, banking and financial interests. Yet by far the most momentous change in the history of this prosperous, capitalist colony was its return in 1997 to 'Mother China', the most powerful Communist state in the world.

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 on the Brink: An American Diplomat Relives 1967's Darkest Days

By Syd Goldsmith

Blacksmith Books
Paperback (280 pages)

Hong Kong on the Brink: An American Diplomat Relives 1967 s Darkest Days
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Syd Goldsmith’s first taste of China’s Cultural Revolution is blood on his tongue.

It’s 1967. Hong Kong is simmering, plagued by communist-led riots and strikes, crippled transport, punishing water-rationing, takeover threats from Beijing and roadside bombs. And Syd — the only Caucasian Foreign Service Officer at the American Consulate General who speaks Cantonese — is made responsible for reporting and analysis of the Hong Kong government’s ability to survive.

The CIA station chief and the head of Macau’s gold syndicate play major roles in Syd’s story, along with Newsweek’s Sydney Liu and Maynard Parker, and a steady stream of inquiring foreign correspondents and China-watchers. Richard Nixon makes a cameo appearance — to talk football with Syd since the consul general won’t see him — in this riveting memoir of a year when Hong Kong’s “borrowed time” seemed about to expire.

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.

A Politically Incorrect History of Hong Kong: Cartoon Stories and the Tale of a Bootleg T-shirt (cartoon history)

By Larry Feign

Top Floor Books
Released: 2017-03-03
Kindle Edition (96 pages)

A Politically Incorrect History of Hong Kong: Cartoon Stories and the Tale of a Bootleg T-shirt (cartoon history)
 
Product Description:

Everything you know about Hong Kong history is wrong.


Did Britain take over the right place? Why did they really want Kowloon? What did mainland refugees curse when they got there? And where can I get one of those cool Handover t-shirts? Bet you thought you knew!

Discover the alternative truth in these action-packed, politically incorrect stories of:

PASSION: A sweltering romance between a hot-headed damsel and a goofball sailor, while his shipmates peddle dope and colonize the wrong island.

BRUTALITY: He outsmarted Japanese invaders and communist rebels, but a potty-mouthed new immigrant meets his match on the old Star Ferry.

T-SHIRTS: The true story of an accidental avatar of the end of an era. And why the artist didn’t get rich from it.

Read it now, before it's too politically incorrect to do so!

A History of Hong Kong

By Frank Welsh

Harpercollins Pub Ltd
Paperback (640 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.

Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong

By Gordon Mathews

University of Chicago Press
Released: 2011-06-30
Paperback (241 pages)

Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong
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There is nowhere else in the world quite like Chungking Mansions, a dilapidated seventeen-story commercial and residential structure in the heart of Hong Kong’s tourist district. A remarkably motley group of people call the building home; Pakistani phone stall operators, Chinese guesthouse workers, Nepalese heroin addicts, Indonesian sex workers, and traders and asylum seekers from all over Asia and Africa live and work there—even backpacking tourists rent rooms. In short, it is possibly the most globalized spot on the planet.

But as Ghetto at the Center of the World shows us, a trip to Chungking Mansions reveals a far less glamorous side of globalization. A world away from the gleaming headquarters of multinational corporations, Chungking Mansions is emblematic of the way globalization actually works for most of the world’s people. Gordon Mathews’s intimate portrayal of the building’s polyethnic residents lays bare their intricate connections to the international circulation of goods, money, and ideas. We come to understand the day-to-day realities of globalization through the stories of entrepreneurs from Africa carting cell phones in their luggage to sell back home and temporary workers from South Asia struggling to earn money to bring to their families. And we see that this so-called ghetto—which inspires fear in many of Hong Kong’s other residents, despite its low crime rate—is not a place of darkness and desperation but a beacon of hope.

Gordon Mathews’s compendium of riveting stories enthralls and instructs in equal measure, making Ghetto at the Center of the World not just a fascinating tour of a singular place but also a peek into the future of life on our shrinking planet.

The Peak: An Illustrated History of Hong Kong's Top District (Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series)

By Richard J. Garrett

Blacksmith Books
Released: 2018-12-15
Hardcover (220 pages)

The Peak: An Illustrated History of Hong Kong s Top District (Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series)
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The Peak is Hong Kong's top residential district, where property prices are as high as the altitude. How did it become an exclusive enclave in the bustling business center of 19th-century Asia?

The British wanted relief from summer heat and the Peak was the obvious place to escape it. When the Governor adopted Mountain Lodge as a summer getaway, development accelerated and the opening of the Peak Tram in 1888 made access easier. Gradually a community developed and a church, a club and a school were established.

This book describes how the now-popular tourist area developed over time and adapted as needs changed.

Anglo-China: Chinese People and British Rule in Hong Kong, 1841-1880 (Echoes: Classics of Hong Kong Culture and History)

By Christopher Munn

Hong Kong University Press
Paperback (484 pages)

Anglo-China: Chinese People and British Rule in Hong Kong, 1841-1880 (Echoes: Classics of Hong Kong Culture and History)
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For its earliest promoters, Hong Kong was an island ‘bespread with palaces, a beautifully and well ordered city, a miracle of British enterprise and dormant power’ at the edge of a crumbling Chinese Empire. This ‘capital of Anglo-China’, as some of them called it, was a place where Chinese and Europeans could freely exchange goods and ideas under a benevolent and progressive British rule. Nineteenth-century Hong Kong was all of that. But it was also a struggling frontier settlement, troubled by crime and war, divided by race, and periodically rocked by controversy. Through a succession of experiments in government, early British officials sought ways of managing a politically complex Chinese population, who, though essential to Hong Kong’s economic success, seemed intractable to traditional colonial methods. The uneasy solutions that emerged combined heavy policing of the lower classes and shaky collaboration with a burgeoning Chinese merchant elite. Anglo-China traces the development of colonial rule in early British Hong Kong. Drawing on a variety of hitherto neglected sources, the book also explores how the daily practice of government affected the lives of people in the region – and how they in turn sought to shape colonial rule.

Hong Kong in Chinese History

By Jung-Fang Tsai

Columbia University Press
Released: 1995-04-13
Paperback (375 pages)

Hong Kong in Chinese History
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Hugh D. R. Baker, Asian Affairs


 
 
 

 
 
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