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Author Szonyi, Michael, author.

Title The art of being governed : everyday politics in late imperial China / Michael Szonyi.

Publication Info. Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2017]


Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe 2nd Floor Stacks  951.026 Sz55a 2017    ---  Available
1 copy being processed for Axe Acquisitions Order.
Description xv, 303 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 245-290) and index.
Contents Introduction. A Father Loses Three Sons to the Army : Everyday Politics in Ming China -- Part I. In the Village. A Younger Brother Inherits a Windfall : Conscription, Military Service, and Family Strategies -- A Family Reunion Silences a Bully : New Social Relations between Soldiers and Their Kin -- Part II. In the Guard. An Officer in Cahoots with Pirates : Coastal Garrisons and Maritime Smuggling -- An Officer Founds a School : New Social Relations in the Guards -- Part III. In the Military Colony. A Soldier Curses a Clerk : Regulatory Arbitrage Strategies in the Military Colonies -- A Temple with Two Gods : Managing Social Relations between Soldier-Farmers and Local Civilians -- Part IV. After the Ming. A God Becomes an Ancestor : Post-Ming Legacies of the Military System -- Conclusion.
Summary An innovative look at how families in Ming dynasty China negotiated military and political obligations to the state. How did ordinary people in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) deal with the demands of the state? In The Art of Being Governed, Michael Szonyi explores the myriad ways that families fulfilled their obligations to provide a soldier to the army. The complex strategies they developed to manage their responsibilities suggest a new interpretation of an important period in China's history as well as a broader theory of politics. Using previously untapped sources, including lineage genealogies and internal family documents, Szonyi examines how soldiers and their families living on China's southeast coast minimized the costs and maximized the benefits of meeting government demands for manpower. Families that had to provide a soldier for the army set up elaborate rules to ensure their obligation was fulfilled, and to provide incentives for the soldier not to desert his post. People in the system found ways to gain advantages for themselves and their families. For example, naval officers used the military's protection to engage in the very piracy and smuggling they were supposed to suppress. Szonyi demonstrates through firsthand accounts how subjects of the Ming state operated in a space between defiance and compliance, and how paying attention to this middle ground can help us better understand not only Ming China but also other periods and places.
Subject China -- Politics and government -- 1368-1644.
China -- History, Military -- 960-1644.
China -- History -- Ming dynasty, 1368-1644.
Politics and government. (OCoLC)fst01919741
China. (OCoLC)fst01206073
Chronological Term 960-1644
Genre/Form History. (OCoLC)fst01411628
Military history. (OCoLC)fst01411630
ISBN 9780691174518 hardcover alkaline paper
0691174512 hardcover alkaline paper

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