In the course of doing this research I have incurred a large number of debts, which I am delighted to be able at this time to acknowledge. The most obvious debts are to the archives and libraries housing and caring for the documents and books on which this study is based. These include China’s No. 1 Historical Archives in Beijing and the U.S. National Archives in Washington, D.C., as well as the following libraries: the Harvard-Yenching Library at Harvard University, the Butler and East Asian Libraries at Columbia University, the Hillman Library at the University of Pittsburgh, the Beijing Library, the library of People’s University and that of its Institute for Qing History, the Beijing University Library, the library of the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica (Taipei), and, above all, the Perry-Castañeda Library of the University of Texas at Austin and its Asian Studies librarians, Kevin Lin and Merry Burlingham. I am particularly grateful to the Institute for Qing History, People’s University, and to its director, Dai Yi, for inviting me to spend the academic year 1982–83 with them.
I also acknowledge with gratitude the financial support of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Committee for Scholarly Communication with China, the University Research Institute of the University of Texas at Austin, and the University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
Several people kindly read and commented on all or parts of this book prior to its publication: Steve MacKinnon, Lynn Struve, Steve Harrell, Betsy Bartlett, and Patty Stranahan, as well as an anonymous reviewer for the University of Washington Press. Their criticisms, coupled with those of my editor at the Press, Lorri Hagman, have resulted in a shorter, tighter, and more accurate study, for which all its readers should rejoice. Any remaining imperfections are, of course, my responsibility.
Yet other people have helped and sustained me in less direct ways. Among them are Bill Braisted, Li Wenhai, Jennifer Rhoads, Suzanne Kain Rhoads, Art Rosenbaum, David Strand, the late Sun Yutang, Phil Woodruff, and, not least, the members of the Southwestern and Western conferences of the Association for Asian Studies, who year after year heard me grapple with my elusive topic with forbearance and good humor. But my chief helpmate and sustainer has been my wife, Patty Stranahan, who offered not only constructive criticisms but also constant encouragement. Without her support and enthusiasm, completion of this project would have taken even longer than it has.