Thursday, June 23, 2016

McNicholas on Forgery and Impersonation

Mark McNicholas, Penn State Altoona, published Forgery and Impersonation in Imperial China: Popular Deceptions and the High Qing State (University of Washington Press) earlier this year. Here is a summary of the book:
Across eighteenth-century China a wide range of common people forged government documents or pretended to be officials or other agents of the state. This examination of case records and law codes traces the legal meanings and social and political contexts of small-time swindles that were punished as grave political transgressions.
Praise includes:

"Sheds new light on the interstices among state, society, and economy . . . [and] expands the field of Chinese social and legal history." -Thomas Buoye
"Richly documented with archival sources, Forgery and Impersonation in Imperial China explores the highly advanced and standardized Qing bureaucracy and the inevitable consequences of its imperfect mastery of advanced technologies of power: forgery, counterfeit, and impersonation, which stand out as aspects of early modernity itself." -Par Cassel

Full information is available here.