Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

Tears from iron [electronic resource] : cultural responses to famine in nineteenth-century China /
Kathryn Edgerton-Tarpley ; with a foreword by Cormac Ó Gráda.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, 2008.
description
xxiii, 332 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780520253025 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, 2008.
isbn
9780520253025 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Shanxi, greater China, and the famine -- Experiencing the famine : the hierarchy of suffering in a famine song from Xiezhou -- The wrath of heaven versus human greed -- Qing officialdom and the politics of famine -- Views from the outside : science, railroads, and laissez-faire economics -- Hybrid voices : the famine and Jiangnan activism -- Family and gender in famine -- The "feminization of famine" and the feminization of nationalism -- Eating culture : cannibalism and the semiotics of starvation, 1870-2001 -- Epilogue. New tears for new times : the famine revisited.
catalogue key
8414891
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 301-317) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Edgerton-Tarpley's sharp, critical mind is displayed on virtually every page of this stunning-and eminently readable-book. By probing with great insight the range of cultural responses to the terrible North China famine of the late 1870s, the author makes a powerful case for the argument that events-all events-have multiple meanings."--Paul A. Cohen, author ofHistory in Three Keys: The Boxers as Event, Experience, and Myth
Flap Copy
"Edgerton-Tarpley's sharp, critical mind is displayed on virtually every page of this stunning-and eminently readable-book. By probing with great insight the range of cultural responses to the terrible North China famine of the late 1870s, the author makes a powerful case for the argument that events-all events-have multiple meanings."--Paul A. Cohen, author of "History in Three Keys: The Boxers as Event, Experience, and Myth"
Flap Copy
"Edgerton-Tarpley's sharp, critical mind is displayed on virtually every page of this stunning-and eminently readable-book. By probing with great insight the range of cultural responses to the terrible North China famine of the late 1870s, the author makes a powerful case for the argument that events-all events-have multiple meanings."--Paul A. Cohen, author of History in Three Keys: The Boxers as Event, Experience, and Myth
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-09-01:
China's greatest modern famine occurred in the midst of Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward in 1957-60--that much is current common knowledge. Yet less than a century earlier, a more narrowly delimited, well-recorded subsistence crisis in north China's Shanxi Province took at least ten million lives. The immediate impact and longer-term consequences of this "Incredible Famine" of 1876-79 are probed from multiple, often conflicting Chinese and foreign perspectives in this compelling, disturbing monograph. Dividing her account into three parts, Edgerton-Tarpley (San Diego State Univ.) introduces the regional setting of the famine, recounting a harrowing local narrative of its course. She then analyzes central themes involved in contemporary Sino-foreign explanations of the disaster. These range from the will of heaven and human greed to the conflicting priorities of Qing officials, their alleged incompetence, and China's lack of enthusiasm for open market trade and railways. Concluding with a discussion of potent images such as the famine's particular impact on women and the specter of intrafamilial cannibalism, the author sympathetically brings to life a controversial human tragedy. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; students, upper-division undergraduate and up; researchers and professionals. R. P. Gardella emeritus, United States Merchant Marine Academy
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Very inspiring and reaching well beyond the scope of the research."
"Very inspiring and reaching well beyond the scope of the research."-- Chinese Cross Currents
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This multi-layered history of a horrific famine that took place in late-19th century China focuses on cultural responses to trauma.
Long Description
This multi-layered history of a horrific famine that took place in late-nineteenth-century China focuses on cultural responses to trauma. The catastrophe in question, a massive drought-famine that killed at least ten million people in North China during the late 1870s, remains one of China's most severe disasters and provides a particularly vivid window through which to study the human and social side of a nation's tragedy. Kathryn Edgerton-Tarpley's original and stimulating approach explores an array of new or unexploited source materials, including songs, poems, stele inscriptions, folklore, and oral accounts of the famine from Shanxi Province, its epicenter. She juxtaposes these local-level narratives against central government, treaty-port, and foreign debates over the meaning of the related events and shows how the famine, which occurred during a period of deepening national crisis, elicited widely divergent reactions from different levels of Chinese society. Her analysis contributes a broader and deeper understanding of the "Incredible Famine" than has previously been available in English and situates the tragedy alongside the Irish and Indian famines to provide a truly global comparison of cultural responses to famine in the nineteenth century.
Long Description
This multi-layered history of a horrific famine that took place in late-nineteenth-century China focuses on cultural responses to trauma. The massive drought/famine that killed at least ten million people in north China during the late 1870s remains one of China's most severe disasters and provides a vivid window through which to study the social side of a nation's tragedy. Kathryn Edgerton-Tarpley's original approach explores an array of new source materials, including songs, poems, stele inscriptions, folklore, and oral accounts of the famine from Shanxi Province, its epicenter. She juxtaposes these narratives with central government, treaty-port, and foreign debates over the meaning of the events and shows how the famine, which occurred during a period of deepening national crisis, elicited widely divergent reactions from different levels of Chinese society.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Explanation of Commonly Used Chinese Termsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Forewordp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
Setting the Scenep. 13
Shanxi, Greater China, and the Faminep. 15
Experiencing the Famine: The Hierarchy of Suffering in a Famine Song from Xiezhoup. 42
Praise and Blame: Interpretive Frameworks of Famine Causationp. 67
The Wrath of Heaven versus Human Greedp. 71
Qing Officialdom and the Politics of Faminep. 90
Views from the Outside: Science, Railroads, and Laissez-Faire Economicsp. 114
Hybrid Voices: The Famine and Jiangnan Activismp. 131
Icons of Starvation: Images, Myths, and Illusionsp. 157
Family and Gender in Faminep. 161
The "Feminization of Famine" and the Feminization of Nationalismp. 189
Eating Culture: Cannibalism and the Semiotics of Starvation, 1870-2001p. 211
Epilogue: New Tears for New Times; The Famine Revisitedp. 235
Glossary of Chinese Charactersp. 245
Notesp. 251
Bibliographyp. 301
Indexp. 319
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem