Harbin: A Cross-Cultural Biography
This book offers an intimate portrait of early-twentieth-century Harbin, a city in Manchuria where Russian colonialists, and later refugees from the Revolution, met with Chinese migrants. The deep social and intellectual fissures between the Russian and Chinese worlds were matched by a multitude of small efforts to cross the divide as the city underwent a wide range of social and political changes.
Using surviving letters, archival photographs, and rare publications, this book also tells the personal story of a forgotten city resident, Baron Roger Budberg, a physician who, being neither Russian nor Chinese, nevertheless stood at the very centre of the cross-cultural divide in Harbin. The biography of an important city, fleshing out its place in the global history of East-West contacts and twentieth-century diasporas, this book is also the history of an individual life and an original experiment in historical writing.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 394 pages
- Illustrations: 22
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.3in x 9.1in
"The unique strength of Mark Gamsa’s contribution to the study of Harbin and Russian‐Chinese relations is the ease with which he moves from the Russian to the Chinese cultural and political scenes. He is able to not only reconstruct in painstaking detail the life of Roger Budberg but also provide a broad sweep of the history of Manchuria in one of the most turbulent eras of modern history. Engaging with archival materials from at least six countries and in at least four languages, the research in this book is superb and of the highest possible quality."
Sergey Glebov, Associate Professor of History, Smith College and Amherst College
"We have in Mark Gamsa a capable historian who is also something of a poet. It is clear from the high quality of scholarship that he has immersed himself in the history and historiography of Harbin for some time. This book is a refreshing and creative approach to history as a humanity."
James Carter, Professor of History, Saint Joseph’s University
Author InformationMark Gamsa is an associate professor in the School of History at Tel Aviv University.
Table of contents
1. Of Ethnicity and Identity
3. Intermediaries and Channels of Communication
4. A Chinese-German Flower
5. Daily Life in a Mixed City
6. Trials and Endings
7. Russians, Chinese, and Japanese
8. Kharbintsy and Ha’erbin ren
Glossary of Chinese Terms
Subjects and Courses