The Birth of a Republic
Stafford trained his lens on the leaders of the revolutionaries, the imperial court, and the generals and foot soldiers, as well as on the common people. His images thus capture the stock in trade of war correspondents and photo journalists, but he also documented scenes of everyday life, from the streets of China's cities to the muddy lanes of its villages, from paddy rice fields to factory workshops, from open-air food markets to the inner chambers of Buddhist temples and Christian churches. His remarkable photographs reveal sweeping social and political change, as well as the tenacity of tradition.
The 162 photographs presented here are from the collection of Stafford's grandson, Ronald Anderson, and are set in historical and cultural context through an interpretive introduction and extensive captions. This book will appeal to historians and general readers interested in modern China, revolution, and war.
About the Author
"The scenes Stafford recorded as he travelled between Wuhan and Shanghai are indispensable to the study of the 1911 Revolution . . ."—Sheila Corr, HistoryToday, September 2011
"Other people might have been walking around taking photos during the heady early days of the Revolution, but few of their photographs have surfaced and no assemblage of those photos is as comprehensive or important as Stafford's…. This is no mere coffee-table book but one that makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the 1911 revolution: a visual complement to the written record."—Hong Kong Economic Journal
"Offers a dramatic visual narrative of the Wuchang and Shanghai uprisings in late 1911 that is in turn framed—with portraits such as that of the empress dowager as well as a child pauper—within a panoramic presentation of the many walks of Chinese society out in the public at the beginning of the last century. . . a great addition to the undergraduate syllabus on the birth of the Chinese Republic."—Pacific Affairs
"Seeks to enhance our understanding of the political and social background of the Republican Revolution through a visual record of key aspects of Chinese everyday life from 1905, which saw the abolition of the civil service examinations, to 1916, which witnessed the death of the first Republican President Yuan Shikai."—The Chinese Historical Review
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