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The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China
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The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In 1644, the Manchus, a relatively unknown people inhabiting China’s rude northeastern frontier, overthrew the Ming, Asia’s mightiest rulers, and established the Qing dynasty, which endured to 1912. From this event arises one of Chinese history’s great conundrums: How did a barely literate alien people manage to remain in power for nearly 300 years over a highly cultured p ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published March 15th 2001 by Stanford University Press (first published February 1st 2001)
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Hadrian
Feb 28, 2017 Hadrian rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, nonfiction, china
Study of how the minority Manchus attempted to rule over the Han Chinese, and how they attempted to maintain a sense of Manchu identity.

The 'banner' system used by the Manchus was, in its early stages, a branch of the military, a means of gaining promotions on the civil services, and an economic aid program. The key to retaining control - that is, preventing them from rebelling or straying too far from their assigned tasks - was a degree of micromanagement, where banner households were walled of
...more
Lloyd
Apr 03, 2011 Lloyd rated it really liked it
Who were the Manchu, and how did this obscure frontier tribe take control of and govern a country (from 1644-1912) with a population three hundred times their own? This is the first academic treatment written from the perspectice of the Manchu themselves, and the first work in English to draw extensively from Manchu-language original sources. Outstanding.
Andrés
Aug 24, 2009 Andrés rated it it was ok
As with too many books by academics, this is actually a monograph that was needlessly extended by 200 pages. The main points of the author are that the Eight Banners were an integral identifier and institutional bulwark for defining the Manchus, that the definition of "Manchuness" changed over time, and that typical identifiers for ethnicity (such as a separate language, defined homeland, and distinct cultural practices) might not apply to the Manchus.

However, this book tends to the repetitive w
...more
Marissa
Feb 07, 2016 Marissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, ceus
In this book, Mark Elliot aims to address two weak points in the scholarly literature on Qing Dynasty China (1644-1912)--the under-utilization of a vast amount of documents in the Manchu language, and the cursory treatment of the Qing's most distinctive institution: the Eight Banners.

A system arising out of the Manchu conquest of China, the banners sought to organize the dynasty's military forces and preserve their elite status. Elliot describes this process in a thorough and detailed way, and
...more
Corry L.
Aug 15, 2012 Corry L. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book has a lot of quotes from period sources and is filled with excellent detail describing the lives of the Manchus in Qing China and their attempts (both successful and not) at retaining a separate ethnic identity and governing a country as a small, alien minority. Fascinating.

As an author interested in learning about other cultures, and as a person who rarely reads history texts, I found this both engaging and highly readable.
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master piece!
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