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Sascha Auerbach . Race, Law, and "The Chinese Puzzle" in Imperial Britain . New York : Palgrave Macmillan . 2009 . Pp. xii, 268. $85.00.

Gothard, J. (2010) Sascha Auerbach . Race, Law, and "The Chinese Puzzle" in Imperial Britain . New York : Palgrave Macmillan . 2009 . Pp. xii, 268. $85.00. The American Historical Review, 115 (5). pp. 1531-1532.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/ahr.115.5.1531
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Abstract

"The Chinese puzzle," asking how the British should deal with the Chinese, taxed policy makers in both Britain and its empire across the nineteenth and into the twentieth century. Sascha Auerbach's book explores how the "puzzle" was understood and managed and (although the book largely lacks Chinese voices) what impact this had on the Chinese themselves. Themes familiar in the history of race relations -the perceived threat of the Chinese to white labor; miscegenation; belief in Chinese immorality; anxiety about Chinese use of and trade in opium; and fear of an overarching international conspiracy of Chinese-are examined in the social, political, and cultural context of imperial Britain. Drawing on detailed case studies, the book analyzes the law, popular fiction, and journalism to show the shifting and often contradictory significance of race in British popular and legal discourse over a fifty-year period. Additionally, the text offers insight into questions of class and gender and illuminates fundamental anxieties about British identity...

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Oxford University Press
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/14382
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