“Highly recommended . . . .” — S.K. Ma , Choice
“The thesis that Rebecca Karl builds in Staging of the World is both novel and persuasive. . . . Eloquently expressed and solidly researched, this is a book that anyone with an interest in late Qing-early Republican history will profit from reading.” — Reviews X , Sino-Platonic Papers 123
"[A] tour de force, based on wide readings in late Qing political texts and theoretical issues, and it is rigorously argued. The writing is often elegant in its precision. . . . Karl is illuminating. . . .[T]he book should be required reading for graduate students and scholars of modern China-and one hopes more widely as well. The problems it raises apply to the whole twentieth century as well as to the late Qing, and probably to the twenty-first century." — Peter Zarrow , The China Journal
"[O]ffers us refreshingly new ways of looking at a crucial period of modern Chinese history." — Jens Damn, Berliner China-Hefte
"[T]his book definitely adds new insights to an interesting and important field of political and cultural history. Highly scholarly, it is well written and beautifully researched." — Colin Mackerras, Asian Studies Review
"It has . . . brought to light material on a number of—in Karl’s own words—ephemeral, but often fascinating, Chinese confrontations with modernity."
— Joan Judge , The International History Review
"Karl adeptly explores the theoretical and practical issues surrounding the birth of Chinese nationalism. . . . Strap on your intellectual seatbelts and get ready for a demanding but stimulating read." — Thomas D. Reins, Canadian Journal of History
"Readers will find much to ponder in her ambitious book, which actually contains enough substantive material to fill two or three separate monographs. . . ."
— Emily M. Hill, Histoire sociale/ Social History
"Rebecca E. Karl's study of early Chinese nationalism is an important and timely contribution to the study of modern China. This book challenges and enriches our understanding of the subject at a time when nationalism has become a hotly debated issue in both academia and mass media. . . . It is a book of importance to people interested in modern China, nationalism, colonialism, and the conceptual formation of 'Asia.'" — Madeleine Yue Dong , Journal of Asian Studies
"This book raises as many questions as it answers and will undoubtedly give rise to much debate. . . . Karl shows an impressive familiarity and technical competence in dealing with a wide range of material. . . . [I]t provides helpful background material. . . . [I]t provides a model for some of the alternative kinds of questions that world history should be prompting us to ask."
— Henrietta Harrison , American Historical Review
"This is an imaginative and thoughtful study. . . . [I]t is a meticulously researched intellectual history of the first order. . . . [Kang] obviously has a good command of the Chinese language and a firm understanding of modern Chinese history. . . . Staging the World is a valuable addition to the literature on modern China. Its value is enhanced by an extensive bibliography, including many hitherto under-used Chinese publications that should prove useful to scholars in the field."
— S. M. Chiu , History: Review of New Books
“Staging the World fundamentally challenges the conventional assumptions of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century intellectual history and proposes a creative, alternative imagining of the historiography of modern China. This is a rare work of intellectual ambition and righteous moral sense.” — Lionel M. Jensen, author of Manufacturing Confucianism: Chinese Traditions and Universal Civilizatio