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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

Bloomsbury Academic
Released: 2019-09-05
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.

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

By John M. Carroll

Brand: Rowman Littlefield Publishers
Released: 2007-05-25
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 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.

Lost Hong Kong: A History in Pictures (Unique Archives)

By Peter Waller

Blacksmith Books
Released: 2020-01-15
Paperback (96 pages)

Lost Hong Kong: A History in Pictures (Unique Archives)
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The story of Hong Kong is one of almost constant change. From a sleepy fishing community, Hong Kong – now a Special Administrative Region following its return from Britain to China in July 1997 – has grown into one of the most significant financial and trading centres of the world.

Hong Kong Island itself has witnessed massive rebuilding over the years, with the result that much of the colonial-era architecture has been swept away and replaced by skyscrapers. Moreover the first high-rise buildings constructed from the late 1950s onwards are now themselves under threat as the constant requirement for more accommodation – both for people and for businesses – continues.

The Kowloon peninsula and the New Territories have also experienced development, whilst the construction of the new airport saw the destruction of an entire island to create the foundations of the new facility. The pressure for land has seen reclamation schemes extend the coastline of Hong Kong Island far to the north.

Over the years photographers have recorded the changing face of Hong Kong: its street scenes, buildings and people. This new book – drawing upon images from a wide range of sources, many of which are previously unpublished – is a pictorial tribute to this lost Hong Kong. Once familiar but now long-gone scenes are recorded, offering a tantalising glimpse back at an era which in chronological terms may be relatively recent, but given the rapidity of change, seems like a distant age.

Umbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong

By Kong Tsung-gan

Pema Press
Paperback (668 pages)

Umbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong
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Umbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong is the first comprehensive account of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement. 

It examines in detail the 2014 campaign for genuine universal suffrage, situating it within the contexts of the history of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, Hong Kong's relationship with China, recent developments in nonviolent resistance struggles globally, and democratization theory. 

The occupations of three hubs of Hong Kong lasted 79 days, the longest continuous mass demonstrations to occur in any major world city in modern history. What triggered them? Why did they last so long? What were they fighting for? What did they achieve? 

The tale is divided into five parts: 1) how the occupations began; 2) their immediate and historical backgrounds; 3) the occupations themselves; 4) the period after the occupations and up to the defeat of the fake universal suffrage plan of the Chinese and Hong Kong governments in June 2015; and 5) an assessment of the movement, an overview of the many rapidly occurring developments in its wake, and a discussion of the outlook for democracy and self-determination in Hong Kong. 

Told from a pro-democracy perspective, in solidarity with the millions of Hong Kong people who have fought for their civil and political rights down through the years, Umbrella also looks critically at the limitations, weaknesses and errors of the movement while portraying the Chinese Communist Party as implacably hostile to popular sovereignty and the Hong Kong government and elites as its accomplices. The global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism will determine the direction of the world over the coming decades. Hong Kong is part of that struggle.

Underground Front: The Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong, Second Edition

By Christine Loh

Hong Kong University Press
Released: 2019-01-31
Paperback (376 pages)

Underground Front: The Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong, Second Edition
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Underground Front is a pioneering examination of the role that the Chinese Communist Party has played in Hong Kong since the creation of the party in 1921, through to the present day. The second edition goes into greater depth on the party’s view on “one country, two systems”, “patriotism”, and “elections”. The introduction has been extensively revised and the concluding chapter has been completely rewritten in order to give a thorough account of the post-1997 governance and political system in Hong Kong, and where challenges lie. Christine Loh endeavours to keep the data and the materials up to date and to include the discussion of some recent events in Hong Kong. The appendices on the key targets of the party’s united front activities also make the book an especially useful read for all who are interested in Hong Kong history and politics, and the history of modern China.

Edge of Empires: Chinese Elites and British Colonials in Hong Kong

By John M. Carroll

Harvard University Press
Released: 2005-04-30
Hardcover (274 pages)

Edge of Empires: Chinese Elites and British Colonials in Hong Kong
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In an engaging, revisionist study, John M. Carroll argues that in the century after the Opium War, Hong Kong's colonial nature helped create a local Chinese business elite.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the colonial government saw Chinese businessmen as allies in establishing Hong Kong as a commercial center. The idea of a commercially vibrant China united them. Chinese and British leaders cooperated on issues of mutual concern, such as the expansion of capitalism and political and economic directions for an ailing China.

These Chinese also found opportunities in the colonial system to develop business and commerce. In doing so, they used Hong Kong's strategic position to underscore their own identity as a distinctive group unlike their mainland counterparts. Nationalism took on a specifically Hong Kong character. At the same time, by contributing to imperial war funds, organizing ceremonies for visiting British royalty, and attending imperial trade exhibitions, the Chinese helped make Hong Kong an active member of the global British Empire.

In Edge of Empires, Carroll situates Hong Kong squarely within the framework of both Chinese and British colonial history, while exploring larger questions about the meaning and implications of colonialism in modern history.

City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong (Penguin Specials: The Hong Kong Series)

By Antony Dapiran

Penguin Random House Australia
Paperback (100 pages)

City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong (Penguin Specials: The Hong Kong Series)
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Hong Kong is a city with a long history of civil disobedience. Antony Dapiran explores the historical and social stimuli and implications of public dissident movements from the turbulent 1960s until the most recent wave of protests, which became apparent in the 2014 Occupy Central movement. What emerges from these grassroots movements is a unique Hong Kong identity, one shaped neither by Britain nor China. City of Protest is a compelling look at the often-fraught relationship between politics and belonging, and a city’s struggle to assert itself.

Policing Hong Kong: An Irish History: Irishmen in the Hong Kong Police Force, 1864-1950 (Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series)

By Patricia O'Sullivan

Blacksmith Books
Released: 2018-03-31
Paperback (360 pages)

Policing Hong Kong: An Irish History: Irishmen in the Hong Kong Police Force, 1864-1950 (Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series)
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Hong Kong, 1918. A tranquil place compared to war-torn Europe. But on the morning of the 22nd January, a running battle through the streets of Wanchai ended in “The Siege of Gresson Street”. Five policemen lay dead, so shocking Hong Kong that over half the population turned out to watch their funeral procession.

One of the dead, Inspector Mortimor O’Sullivan, came from Newmarket: a small town nestled deep in rural Ireland. He, along with a dozen and more relatives, had sailed out to Hong Kong to join the Police Force.


Using family records and memories alongside extensive research in Hong Kong, Ireland and London, Patricia O’Sullivan tells the story of these policemen and the criminals they dealt with. This book also gives a rare glimpse into the day-to-day life of working-class Europeans at the time, as it follows the Newmarket men, their wives and families, from their first arrival in 1864 through to 1941 and beyond.


 
 
 

 
 
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