Crossed Paths: Labor Activism and Colonial Governance in Hong Kong, 1938-1958
Labor Activism and Colonial Governance in Hong Kong chronicles a long neglected yet formative social and political movement in Hong Kong between the 1930s and 1950s.
Drawing upon a range of British and Chinese sources, the book reveals the complex links between labor activism, imperial reform, revolution, and the global Cold War to shed new light on colonialism and activism in modern China. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Chinese labor activism crossed paths with British imperial reform amid the Empire's decline and Chinese national resurgence. Britain turned to reformist intervention in colonial affairs while reaffirmed its determination to restore colonial rule in Hong Kong in spite of worldwide demand for decolonization.
Simultaneously, hundreds of thousands of working Chinese in Hong Kong revived their once-famous activism to join the Chinese National Salvation Movement, defended their homeland in a resistance war and, most significantly, sought a dignified life through collective actions. In this book, Lu Yan chronicles the entwined course of these two discrete movements.
Drawn extensively on both British and Chinese sources, her analysis reveals the intricate relationship between British imperial initiative and colonial practice on the ground, and that between Chinese partisan leadership and grassroots mobilization. It sheds new light on colonialism and activism in modern Chinese history as Lu locates Chinese labor activism, as well as the question of Hong Kong, in the dynamics of imperial reform, revolution, and the global Cold War.
About the Author
Lu Yan is association professor of history at the University of New Hampshire. Her previous works include Re-understanding Japan: Chinese Perspectives, 1895-1945 (University of Hawaii Press, 2004).
- Cornell East Asia Series
Publication Year: 2019
Publication Number: 195