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The Rural Modern – Reconstructing the Self and State in Republican China - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Rural Modern: Reconstructing the Self and State in Republican China

Kate Merkel-Hess


The Chinese Communist Party has often been credited with recognizing the revolutionary potential of a mobilized peasantry. Yet in the 1920s and 1930s the Communists were not the only Chinese who believed that their nation’s future lay in its villages rather than in its cities. These other reformers, a loose coalition of “rural reconstruction” advocates, argued that the countryside could be made modern through the mobilization of rural people, but they rejected the Communist belief in violent revolution. Incredibly influential in the interwar years but now largely forgotten, rural reconstructio ... More

Keywords: China, countryside, modernity, rural reconstruction, Communists, literacy, self government, Rural Reconstruction Movement, village, rural cosmopolitanism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780226383279
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226383309.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kate Merkel-Hess, author
Penn State University