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A Borrowed Place: The History of Hong Kong

Welsh, Frank

57 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1568360029 / ISBN 13: 9781568360027
Published by Kodansha, New York, 1993
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Green Toad, Books (Pahrump, NV, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Encompasses the majestic sweep and extraordinary history of this insular possesion. He explores the underlying politics, from early court intrigues to current negotiations. Here is the ambition, gentility, and snobbery of early colonial life, as well as the seamy underside - a world of drugs, sex, and slavery. Bookseller Inventory # 8047

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Borrowed Place: The History of Hong Kong

Publisher: Kodansha, New York

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title


A sweeping history of Hong Kong, Britain's last colony, documents court intrigues of London and Peking, the heyday of the British Empire, economic development, its role as a refuge from mainland Chinese communism, and the 1997 return to Chinese sovereignty.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Scholarly, understated, massive history of the Crown Colony, from Britisher and former international banker Welsh. Hong Kong has been a source of embarrassment to both Britain and China from the outset. British Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston sacked the envoy who negotiated the island's cession- -and, ever since, the colony has irritated Whitehall with scandals over drugs, prostitution, corruption, and, now, this dreary hand- over business. On China's end, it's the principle of the thing, a scar symbolic of a great wound. Here, Welsh covers events large and small. In 1854, he tells us, Hong Kong Governor Sir John Bowring precipitated a second Anglo-Chinese war, and, through his efforts, China was opened up to European travelers, missionaries, and traders. In 1894, plague struck, causing Governor Sir William Robinson to observe that the Chinese died ``like sheep,'' since they were ``educated to unsanitary habits...accustomed from infancy to herd together''--but Hong Kong survived to see the British accept a 99-year lease in 1898. The 1960's were the golden years of economic freedom, but, even though the populace prospered, hundreds of thousands suffered wretched temporary living conditions--such as sleeping in cardboard boxes near the Star Ferry terminal and even in wire cages at Mongkok. The events of 1972--when Hong Kong's future was decided by Britain and China--are still shrouded in a secrecy that Welsh doesn't dispel, stating only that some feel that if Britain hadn't approached China, China would have let matters lie because Hong Kong was too valuable a trading partner to lose. Welsh doesn't bring history to life so much as recite details, and even the fascinating characters and events that stipple his pages don't add much color. (For a livelier look at the island- colony, see Gerald Segal's The Fate of Hong Kong, p. 921.) (Sixteen pages of b&w illustrations--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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