Young-tsu Wong throws new light on Kang Youwei and Zhang Binglin, both through research on the sources, nature and import of their ideas and through juxtaposing them. The result is a provocative and stimulating analysis of late Qing-early Republican thought. Never before these two rival thinkers have been studied in any western language, and Wong sees these two men, though distinctly different in personality and thought, as the genuine pioneers of modern Chinese thought. The author highlights the mix of traditional Chinese thought, especially Confucianism and western ideas as well as the personal experiences of the two key thinkers in Modern Chinese History, enabling him to reassess the transition of China’s cultural tradition and its modern fate in a world-wide perspective.
This work provides a stimulating and provocative reassessment of two major thinkers in modern Chinese history. As such, it will be welcomed by scholars in the field of modern Chinese history and intellectual thought.
Introduction Part I: Reform and Revolution 1. Kang Yuwei and the Reform Movement 0f 1898 2. Zhang Binglin and the Revolution of 1911 Part II: Philosophy and History 3. Kang’s Philosophical Hermeneutics for Political Reform 4. Zhang’s Defense of History Part III: Paths to Modernity 5. Kang’s Quest for Modern Material Civilization 6. Zhang’s Critique of Western Modernity Conclusion