"In this impressive book, Matthew W. Mosca demonstrates that the reasons for the massive Qing intelligence failure about the world at large and strategic vulnerability along its coast lay not only in its bureaucratic structure, but also in the nature of Chinese geographic epistemology and the modes of geographic writing practiced in late imperial times . . . Mosca's fresh and erudite book will surely make all readers reconsider our understanding of Qing world views and the background to the Opium War."James Millward, American Historical Review
"To the old narrative of Chinese ignorance of diplomatic relations, Mosca's work provides, not a complete revision, but an intelligent and persuasive reformulation in term of intellectual history, and in doing so outlines a methodology that might well be applied to other fields of Qing political history. The book impresses with its philological dexterity, and draws on a rich body of previously untapped archival sources in Manchu and Chinese. Its scope makes it a contribution, not only to Qing history, but to the history of Chinese foreign policy more generally, and of Sino-Indian relations."David Brophy, China Journal
"Matthew W. Mosca has made a graceful and substantial contribution to our understanding not only of late imperial China (the expansive and multicultural Qing Empire in particular) but also of Inner Asian politics, the growth of 'British' India, and the nature of global interactions during the period from 1750 to 1860."Richard J. Smith, H-Net
"Matthew Mosca's impressively researched and carefully structured new book maps the transformation of geopolitical worldviews in a crucial period of Qing and global history. . . . Readers from beyond the field of Chinese studies will find useful discussions here of multiple Qing modes of cartography, geography, and lexicography that inform a broader historical epistemology of the early modern world."Carla Nappi, New Books in East Asian Studies
"Mosca presents a fresh, convincing take on Qing foreign affairs via close examination of how the state learned about and understood British India between 1757 and 1860. . . . Mosca analyzes the uneasy relationship between frontier policy and foreign policy in a multiethnic empire, offering much food for thought to theorists of international relations and to historians of Asia. Excellent scholarship, written with clarity and precision. . . . Highly recommended."K. E. Stapleton, CHOICE
About the Author
Matthew W. Mosca is Assistant Professor in the Lyon G. Tyler Department of History at the College of William & Mary.