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Every so often a work of history appears that radically changes our understanding of people, place and period. Chinese Christians is such a work. This book asks questions about Hong Kong that have never been asked before. It shows that the leaders of Chinese society had a far greater role in shaping early Hong Kong history than earlier historians had believed. It also demonstrates, for the first time, that Chinese society in early Hong Kong had coherence and continuity. "Chinese Christians" explores the lives of some 200 men and women who came into contact with Christian missionaries and who used their connections to achieve wealth and status.
By bringing them together in this book, Carl Smith has made a singular contribution to Hong Kong history. He has, perhaps more than anyone else, turned the field of Hong Kong history on its head.
This book is essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in Hong Kongs history. In its focus on ordinary people and their lives, it is equally enjoyable and interesting for the lay reader, and its original approach of building from raw data on individuals provides a model of broader relevance for historians.
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