Merry Laughter and Angry Curses

Merry Laughter and Angry Curses : The Shanghai Tabloid Press, 1897-1911

5 (1 rating by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 11 business days
When will my order arrive?


This book will primarily appeal to scholars of modern Chinese history, but it will also be of relevance to readers interested in the social impact of print media, subversive communications, and journalism.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.78mm | 380g
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • English
  • 12 b&w illustrations
  • 0774823399
  • 9780774823395
  • 1,378,650

Flap copy

Merry Laughter and Angry Curses reveals how the late-Qing-era tabloid press became the voice of the people. As periodical publishing reached a fever pitch, tabloids had free rein to criticize officials, mock the elite, and scandalize readers. Tabloid writers produced a massive amount of anti-establishment literature, whose distinctive humour and satirical style were both potent and popular. This book shows the tabloid community to be both a producer of meanings and a participant in the social and cultural dialogue that would shake the foundations of imperial China and lead to the 1911 Republican Revolution.
show more

Table of contents


1 Community of Fun

2 Officialdom Unmasked

3 Imagining the Nation

4 Confronting the "New"

5 Questioning the Appropriators

6 The Market, Populism, and Aesthetics



Glossary of Chinese Terms and Names


show more

Review quote

"Juan Wang surprises us by taking us back to Shanghai at the end of the Qing dynasty and showing that not everyone was swept up in the romance of reform. While a few were striking heroic poses and claiming to change the world, others were laughing at the absurdity of life, the folly of ambition, and the vanity and deceit of politicians. The 1911 Revolution has never looked less revolutionary, or more real." - Timothy Brook, author of The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties "Illuminating and endlessly entertaining. Juan Wang does a marvelous job of showing how the tabloids that burst on the scene in Shanghai at the turn of the last century influenced the main political and historical developments of the late Qing. With a stylistic repertoire that included irony, mockery, gossip, sarcasm, and biting humor, these trendy publications, she argues convincingly, did much to prepare the way, intellectually and psychologically, for the demise of the dynasty."
- Paul A. Cohen, author of Speaking to History: The Story of King Goujian in Twentieth-Century China
show more

About Juan Wang

Juan Wang is an independent scholar of Chinese history.
show more

Rating details

1 rating
5 out of 5 stars
5 100% (1)
4 0% (0)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X