The late twentieth century witnessed rapid changes not only in Taiwan’s economy, but also in its identity. Both economic as well as ideological restructuring have been basic elements in the transformation of postwar Taiwan, as rapid democratization opened a Pandora’s Box, and stirred a whirlwind of social discord. This volume considers such important questions as whether the old Taiwanese work ethic is a relic of the past, and whether Taiwan is likely to become a battleground of ideological wars.
The book addresses Taiwanese nostalgia for Chinese culture; the rise and fall of postwar Taiwanese agrarian culture; the transformation of farmers’ social consciousness in the period 1950–1970; the place of Confucianism in postwar Taiwan; and the awakening of the “self ” and the development of a Taiwanese national identity in the post–World War II period. Finally, it considers whether “mutual historical understanding” may be the basis for Taiwan-Mainland relations in the twentyfirst century. This second edition includes two new chapters on the history of Taiwan after World War II, incorporating additional developments in Taiwan in the past decade.
Insights extrapolated from an understanding of history are essential for grasping and solving the basic problems Taiwan now faces and, above all, the conflicted relationship between Taiwan and Mainland China. The book’s thematic undercurrent is the question of Taiwan and Mainland China: How do we deal with the tension between cultural China and political China?
“Professor Chun-chieh Huang has done magnificent work in rethinking the dynamics of Taiwan from an overarching perspective. In Taiwan in Transformation he looks into sources drawn from social, cultural, and intellectual inquires, identifies indigenous and diasporic contestations, and teases out the polemical elements in the contemporary debate about political and ethnic identities. Both historically engaged and theoretically provocative, Professor Huang’s book is a most important source for anyone interested in Taiwan studies.”
――David Der-wei Wang, Harvard University
“Taiwan in Transformation is a well-written, interesting book. It presents a wealth of historical and cultural material that explains how Taiwan transformed itself into one of the most powerful and efficient technology centers in the world, and why China and Taiwan seem to be sent on a collision course. With the US still committed to safeguarding the island’s autonomy and the People’s Republic now a great power on the international stage, Taiwan in Transformation has much to offer those in the defense and policy establishments.”
――MG Ralph O. Doughty, Military Review
“With rapid economic growth since the early 1970s and successful political democratization in the 1990s, Taiwan has presented itself as a very unique case of regime transformation in the Third World. . . . Taiwanese society underwent significant changes to define its self-identity, which has inevitably led to tensions with China……Chun-chieh Huang’s book, Taiwan in Transformation, is a brilliant review of post-war Taiwanese history in the context of changing socio-economic values and political ideologies, and I could not recommend it more highly……[T]o understand the complex nature of transformation in post-war Taiwan, Chun-chieh Huang’s is the book to read.”
――Shiyung Liu, The China Quarterly