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In 2021, the Chinese Communist Party celebrated a century of existence. Since the Party’s humble beginnings in the Marxist groups of the Republican era to its current global ambitions, one thing has not changed for China’s leaders: their claim to represent the vanguard of the Chinese working class. Spanning from the night classes for workers organised by student activists in Beijing in the 1910s to the labour struggles during the 1920s and 1930s; from the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution to the social convulsions of the reform era to China’s global push today, this book reconstructs the contentious history of labour in China from the early twentieth century to this day (and beyond). This will be achieved through a series of essays penned by scholars in the field of Chinese society, politics, and culture, each one of which will revolve around a specific historical event, in a mosaic of different voices, perspectives, and interpretations of what constituted the experience of being a worker in China in the past century.
Contributors: Corey Byrnes, Craig A. Smith, Xu Guoqi, Zhou Ruixue, Lin Chun, Elizabeth J. Perry, Tony Saich, Wang Kan, Gail Hershatter, Apo Leong, S.A. Smith, Alexander F. Day, Yige Dong, Seung-Joon Lee, Lu Yan, Joshua Howard, Bo Ærenlund Sørensen, Brian DeMare, Emily Honig, Po-chien Chen, Yi-hung Liu, Jake Werner, Malcolm Thompson, Robert Cliver, Mark W. Frazier, John Williams, Christian Sorace, Zhu Ruiyi, Ivan Franceschini, Chen Feng, Ben Kindler, Jane Hayward, Tim Wright, Koji Hirata, Jacob Eyferth, Aminda Smith, Fabio Lanza, Ralph Litzinger, Jonathan Unger, Covell F. Meyskens, Maggie Clinton, Patricia M. Thornton, Ray Yep, Andrea Piazzaroli Longobardi, Joel Andreas, Matt Galway, Michel Bonnin, A.C. Baecker, Mary Ann O’Donnell, Tiantian Zheng, Jeanne L. Wilson, Ming-sho Ho, Yueran Zhang, Anita Chan, Sarah Biddulph, Jude Howell, William Hurst, Dorothy J. Solinger, Ching Kwan Lee, Chloé Froissart, Mary Gallagher, Eric Florence, Junxi Qian, Chris King-chi Chan, Elaine Sio-Ieng Hui, Jenny Chan, Eli Friedman, Aaron Halegua, Wanning Sun, Marc Blecher, Huang Yu, Manfred Elfstrom, Darren Byler, Carlos Rojas, Chen Qiufan.