the urban West, it is easy to forget that most of the world's population still lives in villages, and despite increasing globalization it remains true that many countries can best be understood on the village level. The most striking example is China where, in the face of the political and economic upheavals of the last century, the local village units and networks retain their importance. Written during the last days of Imperial China, this pioneering study is remarkable for its detailed descriptions and the freshness of its observations, which are applicable today despite the veneer of modernity. Every facet and institution of village life is revealed - local officials, cooperative loan societies, crop watching societies, the tradition of rigorous instruction, the dedication of men and women to labour from childhood, the drudgery of family life.What emerges clearly is what Smith calls the 'Chinese talent for cooperation' - the embedded predisposition for acting in groups - which Chairman Mao used to great advantage, has outlived the Maoist movement, and is the foundation on which the new China is being built. This unique study is essential reading for those interested in China's history and its future.

part |222 pages

PART I The Village, Its Institutions, Usages and Public Characters

chapter |5 pages

The chinese village

chapter |10 pages

II Construction of villages

chapter |5 pages

III Village nomenclature

chapter |4 pages

IV Country roads

chapter |5 pages

V The village ferry

chapter |5 pages

VI Village wells

chapter |5 pages

VII The village shop

chapter |16 pages

VIII The village theatre

chapter |5 pages

XVII The village hunt

chapter |15 pages

XX The village bully

chapter |9 pages

XXI Village headmen

part |104 pages

PART II Village Family Life

part |14 pages

PART III Regeneration of the Chinese Village