This seminal book translates and analyzes thirty-eight memorials to the throne and other documents dealing with important issues of Chinese political economy--water control, mining, grain trade, pawnshops, brewing, and commercial shipping. The documents also contain detailed discussions of how the state should control wealth, self-interest, profit, hoarding, and the market; these texts go a long way toward dispelling the notion that economic liberalism is necessarily a Western, "modern" phenomenon. Helen Dunstan has succeeded brilliantly in translating and editing the documents and in providing thoughtful and provocative commentary.
Helen Dunstan is Professor of History and Chair of Chinese Studies, University of Sydney. She has published widely on the economic, intellectual, and environmental history of late imperial China.
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