About the author: Yi Li received his PhD in History from the University of Washington. His research is mainly late-imperial China, particularly social history. He is now teaching history at the Tacoma Community College2002 0-7734-7321-1
Built on a case study of the experience of the Chinese Steamship Bureau, this work questions the current paradigms in approaching the role of the Chinese state in the late imperial period. Furthermore, it provides a reassessment of the nature and spectrum of state power and its resilience in adapting to the new social environment in the crisis-ridden 19th century.