The Hong Kong story
Oxford University Press, 1997 - History - 136 pages
This timely book chronicles the history of Hong Kong from its misty beginnings to the present day. The territory's unique and turbulent political and economic development form the backdrop to a still more compelling and human story. The essence of The Hong Kong Story is the interwoven sagas of the family dynasties and business houses - vital ingredients in transforming the `barren rock' into a miracle city state.
These families were by no means all British and Chinese: by the mid-nineteenth century Hong Kong was already a cosmopolitan city with a prominent American contingent. It is the collective spirit of these nationalities - grit, optimism, practicality, ruthlessness, generosity, resilience - that lies at the heart of modern Hong Kong's unique East-West chemistry. The book follows the waxing and waning fortunes of these dynasties and entrepreneurs through the convulsions of the Opium Wars, the collapse of imperial China, Japanese occupation, mass immigration, communist takeover in China, the Cultural Revolution, frequent booms and busts, and the approach of `one country, two systems'. It a fascinating story of how human enterprise, rising above ethnic divides, has endowed a coastal enclave in Asia with not only unimaginable riches but a unique identity.
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