The Birth of a Republic: Francis Staffords Photographs of Chinas 1911 Revolution and Beyond

Hardcover | November 23, 2009

byHanchao Lu

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China's 1911 Revolution ended the rule of both the 267-year-old Manchu Qing dynasty and the more than 2,000-year-old imperial system, establishing Asia's first, if not lasting, republic. Because war correspondence was not an established profession in China and the camera was a rare apparatus in Chinese life at the time, photographs of the revolution are rare. Francis E. Stafford (1884-1938), an American working as a photographer for Asia's largest publishing company, Commercial Press in Shanghai, had unusual access to both sides of the conflict. The Birth of a Republic documents this tumultuous period through Stafford's photographic eye.

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.

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China's 1911 Revolution ended the rule of both the 267-year-old Manchu Qing dynasty and the more than 2,000-year-old imperial system, establishing Asia's first, if not lasting, republic. Because war correspondence was not an established profession in China and the camera was a rare apparatus in Chinese life at the time, photographs of ...

Hanchao Lu , professor of Asian history at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the author of Beyond the Neon Lights: Everyday Shanghai in the Early Twentieth Century and Street Criers: A Cultural History of Chinese Beggars.

other books by Hanchao Lu

Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.3 × 10.26 × 0.75 inPublished:November 23, 2009Publisher:UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295989408

ISBN - 13:9780295989402

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsMap of China in 1911Map of Wuhan during the 1911 RevolutionIntroduction1. On the Eve of the Revolution2. The Wuchang Uprising3. The Politics of Chaos4. A Society in Transition5. Stafford in ChinaTimeline of Chinese HistoryA Chronology of the 1911 RevolutionGlossaryFurther ReadingsIndex

Editorial Reviews

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