This lively conference volume is a useful update on recent scholarship concerning China's relations with the maritime world in the period leading up to the Opium Wars, especially relations with the United States. To cite the recent work in this burgeoning field would use up all the space of this review, a job which is better performed by this volume in any case. The authors cite the foundational surveys and compilations, some a century old, by Hosea Ballou Morse, Kenneth Scott Latourette, and Tyler Dennett, which used only English-language sources, as well as the monographs of the next generation, such as those by Earl Swisher and John King Fairbank, which tapped newly opened Chinese archives. These articles put the Canton Trade in the context of the larger maritime world and the “great divergence” between China and Europe, citing work by such scholars as Leonard Blussé and his group at Leiden...

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