Both Beijing and London have vowed to maintain Hong Kong's stability and prosperity in the uncertainty surrounding the expiration of the New Territories Lease in 1997. The six books under review are timely but not entirely successful attempts to trace local socioeconomic developments since the riots of 1967. Three major themes emerge. The still-prevalent Chinese family system and social values have provided the foundation for political stability during this period of drastic changes. The general “prosperity” also entails human sacrifices and widening inequitable distribution of this increased wealth. The policies of the colonial administration have been a far cry from the ideals of laissez-faire government, and yet much remains to be done to make Hong Kong a just society.

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