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Merry Laughter and Angry Curses

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 Community of Fun 2 Officialdom Unmasked 3 Imagining the Nation 4 Confronting the "New" 5 Questioning the Appropriators 6 The Market, Populism, and Aesthetics Conclusion Notes Glossary of Chinese Terms and Names Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

Merry Laughter and Angry Curses is the first book to look beyond China's intellectual elite to examine the profound impact the tabloid press had on the national political awakening of the late Qing era.

About the Author

Juan Wang is an independent scholar of Chinese history.


"Juan Wang surprises us by taking us back to Shanghai at the end of the Qing dynasty and showing that not everyone was swept up in the romance of reform. While a few were striking heroic poses and claiming to change the world, others were laughing at the absurdity of life, the folly of ambition, and the vanity and deceit of politicians. The 1911 Revolution has never looked less revolutionary, or more real." - Timothy Brook, author of The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties "Illuminating and endlessly entertaining. Juan Wang does a marvelous job of showing how the tabloids that burst on the scene in Shanghai at the turn of the last century influenced the main political and historical developments of the late Qing. With a stylistic repertoire that included irony, mockery, gossip, sarcasm, and biting humor, these trendy publications, she argues convincingly, did much to prepare the way, intellectually and psychologically, for the demise of the dynasty." - Paul A. Cohen, author of Speaking to History: The Story of King Goujian in Twentieth-Century China

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