In this classic study (1977), James Hayes examines local leadership in six villages and townships in Hong Kong's rural New Territories during the late Qing. Drawing on a wealth of documentary sources and on fieldwork carried out while serving as a district officer, Hayes makes a powerful argument for the part played by ordinary men — peasants and shopkeepers — in running their own communities almost without interference from either the gentry or state officials. This new edition has a substantial new introduction by the author which reviews the research in the light of later scholarly studies
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