Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century

Evelyn Rawski
Yale University Press

During the eighteenth century, China’s new Manchu rulers consolidated their control of the largest empire China had ever known. In this book Susan Naquin and Evelyn S. Rawski draw on the most recent research to provide a unique overview and reevaluation of the social history of China during this period--one of the most dynamic periods in China’s early modern era.

"A lucid, original, and scholarly summary of the social, economic, and demographic history of China’s last great period of glory. This will be an important book for students of Chinese history."—Jonathan Spence, Yale University

"Engaging, complex, and elegantly written. . . . Absorbing and valuable: a thorough, unique, and richly detailed account of the social forms and cultural and religious life of the people."—Choice

"[An] interesting and well-informed survey of China between about 1680 and 1820."—W.J.F. Jenner, Asian Affairs

"I would be a very odd scholar or general reader who could not derive profit from reading this elegant and painstaking survey of the social, cultural, and economic life of the Qing empire in its apparent prime. . . . A superb survey which readers may absorb and cherish."—Alexander Woodside, Pacific Affairs

"A highly readable synthesis of recent secondary literature on the subject."—William S. Atwell, Journal of Asian Studies

"Their coverage is comprehensive and their writing is clear and lucid. Reading this book obtains one a very broad, yet penetrative, view of Chinese society at the time."—Alan P.L. Liu, Asian Thought & Society

"The ground covered by this book is vast. . . . Its very breadth conveys with great clarity the extent of current knowledge of premodern China: it also serves as an excellent introduction to the social history of the Qing dynasty."—Hugh D.R. Baker, China Quarterly

"This is a most challenging work and ambitious work. . . . Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century give both the general reader and also the historian who does not study China a tool for grounding himself or herself in the basic patterns and trends that could be found in eighteenth century China as well as in the problems the specialists are now exploring. The book is also of great value to students of traditional and modern China, for it serves to synthesize much of the new literature on China in the High Qing. Thus it serves the ’China hand’ as a state of the field essay that shows just where we are even as it suggests directions for future research."—Murray A. Rubinstein, American Asian Review

"This excellent book provides an intelligent summary our rapidly changing understanding of Chinese society in a crucial century of political stability and economic and demographic expansion. Susan Naquin and Evelyn S. Rawski are distinguished contributors to the field, energetically engaged in its multinational communication networks."—John E. Wills, Jr., American Historical Review