A study of the tensions between region and nation in Republican China. Diana Lary gives a detailed examination of Kwangsi province in south-west China, the home base of a major warlord clique that was important both for its interesting internal politics and for its national influence in the late 1920s and the 1930s. She reconstructs with imagination and thoroughness the intricate political and military history of the nation, but without losing sight of the overall regional character of the Kwangsi government and its policies. She shows how the regional leaders responded to central breakdown, what sense they had of the nation even in its weakened condition. China is usually studied as a monolithic entity; Diana Lary demonstrates that such a simple view must fail, that China also consists of a large number of distinct regions with special patterns of relationship to the centre.
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