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Title: A Popular History of the PRC: Narratives of the Nation in Best-selling Biographies and Memoirs
Keywords: China, narrative, biography, reform, publishing industry
Issue Date: 22-May-2007
Citation: CHUA HUI CHING, EMILY (2007-05-22). A Popular History of the PRC: Narratives of the Nation in Best-selling Biographies and Memoirs. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis looks at bestselling biographies and memoirs in contemporary urban China, to trace an underlying narrative of the nation that is common to all such texts and which can thus be usefully identified as a popular history of the PRC. Using six case-studies, the thesis argues that while the stories told of individual Chinese lives are diverse, all are set within a single historical narrative of the Chinese nation. This bestselling history of the PRC is one that traces a linear path of progress from destructive political passion in the past to productive economic sensibility in the present. The present is depicted as the realization of Chinaa??s return to rationality and hence as the best time to be alive in the history of the nation to date. While favorable to state interests in several ways however, this national metanarrative is not simply dictated and disseminated by the central government but is also shaped by existing preferences in the consumer market for Chinese history today.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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