Introduction: Distance, narrative,and perception

Tom Buchanan

in East Wind

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199570331
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741425 | DOI:
Introduction: Distance, narrative,and perception

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This introductory chapter provides background and context for the remainder of the text, which is arranged by chronological chapters. There are three parts; the first examines the question of China's ‘distance’ from Britain, both geographically and in terms of cultural difference; the second focuses on three intellectuals (Bertrand Russell, RH Tawney and Joseph Needham) whose engagement with ‘The problem of China’ helped to shape the attitudes of the British left; the third section examines the pre-history of radical interest in China since the first Opium War of 1839–42. Although this was never a major feature of the politics of the left before the mid-1920s, left-wingers in the twentieth century were still able to ‘salvage’ a past from these earlier campaigns.

Keywords: Needham; Russell; Tawney; Opium Wars; Hong Kong; Boxer Rebellion; Sun Yat-sen

Chapter.  11972 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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