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Zhang Binglin and Revolutionary China, 1869-1936
Wong, Young-tsu
Date published: 
January 1989

This original study concentrates on one of modern China's most outstanding thinkers, scholars, and political activists, whose intellectual prestige and influence attracted educated Chinese towards the republican revolution during the closing decade of the Qing dynasty. Despite Zhang Binglin's importance to the revolution, comparable to that of Sun Yatsen and Huang Xing, Chinese historiography has treated his role either partially or with bias, while Western historiography has produced few topical studies. This is the first full-length study of Zhang Binglin in English, a nd Yong-tsu Wong draws extensively on both Chinese and English sources. It is also one of the first studies to analyse with clarity and to comment neutrally on the range of views Zhang held and the position he adopted between Reformers and Revolutionists, Monarchists and Republicans, traditionalists and New Culture campaigners, and Nationalists and Communists. Wong also discusses Zhang's ideas on nationalism, pluralism, federalism, and history, and the philosophical roots of Zhang's revolutionary thought. He challenges prevailing views, and contributes to a better understanding of the dynamics of the Chinese Revolution.