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China Firm

American Elites and the Making of British Colonial Society

«Through the microhistory of the Heards’ business in Hong Kong, The China Firm speaks to larger issues of global history. Bringing together solidly researched archival findings and applying cutting-edge techniques of digital humanities, Larkin explores the dynamic social and business networks of an enterprising New England trading house and its changing fortune within the British colonial framework. The story follows the worldly exploits of these American entrepreneurs who transcended political and geographical boundaries, all the while mindful of the local contexts that animated and confined their maneuvers.»

John D. Wong, author of <i>Hong Kong Takes Flight: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Global Hu
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Detaljer

Forlag
Columbia University Press
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
ISBN
9780231210669
Utgivelsesår
2024
Format
23 x 15 cm

Anmeldelser

«Through the microhistory of the Heards’ business in Hong Kong, The China Firm speaks to larger issues of global history. Bringing together solidly researched archival findings and applying cutting-edge techniques of digital humanities, Larkin explores the dynamic social and business networks of an enterprising New England trading house and its changing fortune within the British colonial framework. The story follows the worldly exploits of these American entrepreneurs who transcended political and geographical boundaries, all the while mindful of the local contexts that animated and confined their maneuvers.»

John D. Wong, author of <i>Hong Kong Takes Flight: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Global Hu

«The China Firm tells the transimperial tale of the American China trading firm Augustine Heard & Co. and their rise to prominence as copartners in the construction of British imperialism in the region. Through skillful navigation of the First and Second Opium Wars, Heard & Co. carved a lucrative—if fragile—position for itself as an intermediary in the opium trade. They moved to an outsize position of prominence in the region’s carrying trade and exerted a profound influence over the sociocultural life of British treaty-port network that stretched from the entrepôt of Hong Kong to Canton’s Thirteen Factories and the ports of Shanghai and Fuzhou. Moving deftly through the scales of the Heards’ mercantile and diplomatic household, the cities they sojourned and labored in, and the regions and empires their trade crossed, The China Firm charts the evolution of the Heards’ sinuous social and business networks in the British colonial project. Written with conceptual sophistication, storytelling panache, and impressive archival prospecting, The China Firm sets a new standard for global microhistory approaches to the history of the United States in the world.»

Stephen Tuffnell, author of <i>Made in Britain: Nation and Emigration in Nineteenth-Century America<

«The China Firm is a pioneering global microhistory. Through a social-networking approach to the history of empire, Thomas Larkin shows how a family of American traders helped construct British imperialism in China and beyond.»

John M. Carroll, author of <i>Edge of Empires: Chinese Elites and British Colonials in Hong Kong</i>

«From the broad perspective of global business and international relations to the intimacy of the family and the home, Thomas M. Larkin paints a rich and nuanced picture of the American experience in China. Using the concept of "transimperial" space, he shows how American merchants lived and made money by navigating, adapting, and exploiting the British imperial presence in China. This work gives us a new understanding of the history of Sino-American relations, Hong Kong, China, and the nineteenth-century world. A wonderful read.»

Elizabeth Sinn, author of <i>Pacific Crossing: California Gold, Chinese Migration, and the Making of

«Thoroughly grounded in an exceptional archive, Thomas Larkin’s work is illuminating. Through a close-up look at a leading American trading firm in China before the Opium Wars of the 1840s and in Hong Kong thereafter, a richly lived world is revealed. We learn how American men navigated British colonialism, perhaps finding their notions of difference were less accurate than assumed. While seeing themselves as ‘less colonial,’ they nonetheless rode on imperial coattails to great personal benefit. Among many insights, Larkin shows us the centrality of forging interesting relationships with diverse actors and of forging networks through which business and private lives progress. Larkin’s work gives new depth to any consideration today of what global trade relations might mean.»

Vaudine England, author, <i>Fortune’s Bazaar: The Making of Hong Kong</i>

«Through the case study of Augustine Heard & Co., Larkin sheds fascinating new light on American lives and business in Hong Kong and the wider China coast during the nineteenth century. Based on a wide array of archival sources and meticulous research, The China Firm is essential reading for those interested in foreign communities and business in modern China.»

Ghassan Moazzin, author of <i>Foreign Banks and Global Finance in Modern China: Banking on the Chine

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