Intolerable Cruelty: Marriage, Law, and Society in Early Twentieth-Century China

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Intolerable Cruelty thoughtfully explores key issues in modern Chinese history, including state-society relations, social transformation, and gender relations in the context of the Republican Chinese experiment with liberal modernity. Investigating both the codification process and the subsequent implementation of the Republican Civil Code of 1929-1930, Margaret Kuo reconsiders the dominant narratives of the 1930s and 1940s as dark years for Chinese women. Instead, she convincingly recasts the history of these years from the perspective of women who actively and successfully engaged the law to improve their lives.