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Book description

For decades, Hong Kong has maintained precarious freedom at the edge of competing world powers. In City on the Edge, Ho-fung Hung offers a timely and engaging account of Hong Kong's development from precolonial times to the present, with particular focus on the post 1997 handover period. Through careful analysis of vast economic data, a myriad of political events, and intricate networks of actors and ideas, Hung offers readers insight into the fraught economic, political, and social forces that led to the 2019 uprising, while situating the protests in the context of global finance and the geopolitics of the US-China rivalry. A provocative contribution to the discussion on Hong Kong's position in today's world, City on the Edge demonstrates that the resistance and repression of 2019-2020 does not spell the end of Hong Kong but the beginning of a long conflict with global repercussions.


'At a time when many of Hong Kong's freedoms seem to have been extinguished, Ho-fung Hung brings historical knowledge and a deft analysis of capital to show that the desire for liberal values in the city is by no means dead and that a new more hopeful phase for Hong Kong may yet emerge.'

Rana Mitter - Oxford University

'A powerful book packed with incisive and informative analyses, animated by a deep and intimate understanding of the local people and society. Hung’s masterful narrative places Hong Kong’s storied history in global, regional, national and comparative perspectives. At a time of looming darkness and despair, this is essential reading for making sense of the past and forging a brave new future.'

Ching Kwan Lee - UCLA & Founding Chair of the Society for Hong Kong Studies

'… meticulous and informative … an illuminating look at an issue of grave geopolitical import.'

'… a penetrating analysis of the city’s evolution … Hung insists that the struggle for the future of Hong Kong has not ended. But his analysis of how Hong Kong arrived at this bleak state is so persuasive that it doesn’t leave the reader with much hope.'

Andrew J. Nathan Source: Foreign Affairs

‘a deeply researched and colourful history’

Victor Mallet Source: Financial Times

'… a timely and carefully researched expose of how China botched its stewardship of Hong Kong after taking over the British colony in 1997.'

Ian Johnson Source: The New York Review of Books

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