From the perspective of village activists across China, this book tells the stories of farmers and rural laborers who raised the banner of opposition to constitutional reform during the first decade of the twentieth century. The author brings to life the stories of the Camel King of Zunhua county, Qu Shiwen and the Four Mountains of Laiyang county, and many others who criticized government modernization efforts, known collectively as the New Policy. Using county archives---including oral histories---as well as memoirs, periodical literature, missionary records, and official documents both Chinese and foreign, Of Camel Kings and Other Things constructs, from fragmented sources, a coherent historical view vital to our understanding of China's twentieth-century crises and the dilemmas of modernity itself.
This book is an important contribution to the current literature on rural violence in the history of late imperial China. Prazniak has produced a well-researched study of peasant resistance in various parts of early twentieth-century China. Rich in insightful detail, highly readable and informative, this book is destined to become essential reading for those interested in peasant protests and popular uprisings in China and other parts of the world.--Joseph Tse-Hei Lee "Journal Of Parapsychology, April2000 "