Britain and China, 1840-1970: new book from BICC researchers

Britain and China, 1840-1970 coverJust published by Routledge, and very much a BICC volume, Britain and China, 1840-1970: Empire, Finance and War, is co-edited by Robert Bickers and Jonathan J. Howlett. The volume presents some of the research first aired at BICC’s August 2011 conference ‘Britain and China, pasts, presents and futures’. Held at the University of Bristol this event brought together over 30 speakers from across the globe.

The collection presents 11 essays, outlining the results of research into new archives, or exploring new paradigms for understanding the course of Britain-China relations.

Contributors include BICC researcher Isabella Jackson, and essays by Paul Bailey, John Carroll, Chen Qianping, Koji Hirata, Sherman Xiaogang Lai, Benjamin Mountford, Stephen R. Platt and Hans van de Ven. The cover photograph shows the pipes of the Shanghai Scottish Company of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps in action on a Shanghai street in 1924: source, Hutchinson collection, Historical Photographs of China project (C) Barbara Merchant.

‘China’s war with Japan, 1937-1945’: New book by Rana Mitter

BICC research network leader Rana Mitter’s new book cover_China_Japan_WarChina’s war with Japan, 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival is published this week by Allen Lane.  It is the first comprehensive history of the politics, experience, and aftermath of the Sino-Japanese War that became part of World War II, seen from the Chinese side and drawn from a wide range of Chinese materials.  It argues for a revisionist view of the Nationalist contribution to the Allied war effort, and that a new model of authoritarian social welfarism emerged from the conflict.  Mitter’s book will be published under the title Forgotten Ally in North America in September.

Here, Rana Mitter talks to Rob Gifford, China editor of The Economist, about the book:

Reviews and comments have already been published in The Economist; The Guardian; The Spectator; Prospect; Financial Times:

“Restor[es] a vital part of the wartime narrative to its rightful place. . . . A remarkable story, told with humanity and intelligence; all historians of the second world war will be in Mitter’s debt. . . . No one could ask for a better guide.” – Richard Overy, Guardian

“The best narrative of that long-ago war, whose effects still linger in China today.” – Jonathan Mirsky, The Spectator  (London)

“Illuminating and meticulously researched. . . . It is the voice of the Chinese [. . .] that gives the distinctive tone to Mitter’s narrative. From the diaries of Chiang Kai-shek to those of national journalists and middle-class Chinese fleeing the conflict, these first-person observations are woven skilfully into his chronicle of the battles and struggles.”  –The Economist