Lightning Wires: The Telegraph And China's Technological Modernization, 1860-1890

Hardcover | March 1, 1997

byErik Baark

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The transfer and assimilation of advanced technology has been an important challenge for China's modernization for more than a century. Baark examines some of the dilemmas faced by Chinese modernizers of the yangwu (Western affairs) movement from the 1860s to the 1890s. Telegraph technology emerged in the West on the basis of scientific discoveries in electricity in the early nineteenth century, and was greeted with enthusiasm by governments and the public alike. The Chinese attitudes to the telegraph, however, were informed by entirely different political and cultural priorities. Baark examines the tensions which existed between the Chinese and the foreign companies seeking to extend telegraph technology to East Asian cities, and he shows how the domestic network was shaped by indigenous social and cultural forces. This book will be of considerable interest to historians of modern China, technology, and economic development.

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From the Publisher

The transfer and assimilation of advanced technology has been an important challenge for China's modernization for more than a century. Baark examines some of the dilemmas faced by Chinese modernizers of the yangwu (Western affairs) movement from the 1860s to the 1890s. Telegraph technology emerged in the West on the basis of scientifi...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 inPublished:March 1, 1997Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313300119

ISBN - 13:9780313300110

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?His objective is to illuminate the process of technology transfer and acceptance from the perspective of both Chinese and Western contemporaries. He succeeds well in this task, which requires penetrating through notions of cultural superiority, linear progress and the Chinese view of history as cyclic....All in all, this is a very valuable, thoroughly researched study with many aspects that invite further cross-cultural study.?-Technology and Culture