HARVARD EAST ASIAN MONOGRAPHS
Cover: China’s Silk Trade in HARDCOVER

Harvard East Asian Monographs 97

China’s Silk Trade

Traditional Industry in the Modern World, 1842–1937

The development of modern China’s most important export commodity, silk, is traced from the opening of the treaty ports to the 1930s. This study examines the silk industry, one of China’s most advanced traditional economic enterprises, as it moved into large-scale trade with the West. And it especially considers whether traditional economic organizations and practices encouraged or inhibited the expansion of the industry and its technological modernization.

The silk industry is presented as a microcosm of China’s encounter with the modern world market, focusing on such topics as the role of the state, the relationship between treaty ports and rural producers, the domestic market, and the financing and organization of the modern sector. Such important issues as the “sprouts of capitalism” argument and Japan’s assumption of first position in the modern world silk market are authoritatively and convincingly illuminated.

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene