Cover: Chinese Medicine Men: Consumer Culture in China and Southeast Asia, from Harvard University PressCover: Chinese Medicine Men in HARDCOVER

Chinese Medicine Men

Consumer Culture in China and Southeast Asia

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Product Details


$68.50 • £54.95 • €61.50

ISBN 9780674021617

Publication Date: 05/30/2006


288 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

61 halftones, 6 maps, 11 tables


This is a captivating book. Chinese Medicine Men moves beautifully from one story to another, and it is a must read for students and scholars of modern China and Southeast Asia, particularly those who operate in the socio-economic arena.—Zheng Yangwen, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

Chinese Medicine Men is an elegant examination of complex cultural and commercial change in modern China… For scholars of modern China and, to a limited extent, Southeast Asia, this book suggests new approaches to the historical interpretation of this period. In particular, it provides strong evidence that native pharmaceutical companies were not severely restricted by Nationalist exactions and Japanese oppression, but rather, successfully navigated treacherous and uncertain terrain to maintain their markets… Cochran’s work indicates the need for additional research focuses on native companies in other trades, which may also have flourished despite the upheavals of this turbulent period.—Daniel J. Meissner, Canadian Journal of History

An original and important book. Cochran shows that Chinese entrepreneurs in the pharmaceutical and Chinese medicine industry—several of them barely literate—created a modern consumer culture and penetrated domestic and Southeast Asian markets more deeply than Western multinationals did. He has unearthed remarkably fresh materials about Chinese business practices during the Republic and brought together economic and organizational analysis with culture and politics in a new and stimulating way.—Prasenjit Duara, author of Rescuing History from the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China

The first full-length study of one of the largest industries in prewar China, this is a thoughtful, accessible, and thoroughly welcome book. Sherman Cochran offers one of the very few works that show us Chinese businesses not only successfully using techniques of their own or modifying Western ones, but pioneering innovations that would later succeed in other parts of the world and are often thought to be Western in origin. Chinese Medicine Men will be very well received among readers of the history of modern China, international business, consumerism, and globalization.—Kenneth Pomeranz, author of The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy

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