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Macau : The Imaginary City : Culture and Society, 1577 to Present (New Perspectives on Asian History) Paperback – December 10, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: New Perspectives on Asian History
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press (December 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813337496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813337494
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,387,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"For anyone who has come under Macau's spell, this [book] is a must." (Asiaweek)

"This is not so much an examination of a city as an evocation of a place in time, a Macau that is about to be lost....Porter's book reminds us that a city should be savored, not just analyzed." -- American Historical Review

About the Author

Jonathan Porter is professor of history at the University of New Mexico and the author of All Under Heaven: The Chinese World.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Mahnke on January 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I read Porter's book during my recent visit to Macau, and I have to say that I came away disappointed. Macau is a fascinating place, not quite Portuguese and not quite Chinese, and it deserves a book of this sort. But Porter's writing kept getting the way. For one, he keeps returning to a sort of cant that will be familiar, regretably, to anyone who reads much academic writing. These paragraphs add nothing to one's understanding of Macau, but seem to be there because the author has been writing so long for an academic audience that he no longer can turn this spigot off. Where was his editor? Second, Porter keeps returning to tell you how what he has just said fits into his theme of Macau as a meeting place of cultures. I got it already. Third, he has organized his book into thematic chapters, rather than (say) chronologically, but (to me, anyway) the themes were too abstract, and resulted in quite a bit of repetition. He's got some great material here, but I would have preferred that he explore some topics once, in fuller detail, rather than returning to them again and again from different angles.

Not a book I would recommend for its literary merits, but worth a look if you'll be in Macau. With all of the casinos being built there now, it takes some work to see the place's history.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By schell@frii.com on June 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"Macau:The Imaginary City" is a beautiful tapestry woven from the histories of "gray-brown fortress walls","great churches", "European and Chinese commercial buildings", "19th century European residential and commercial building", and the current modern buildings which "stand in contrast to the fortress walls; yet echo their starkness" as they seem to complete a circle "as modern fortresses of money not of artillery". Anyone considering a trip to Hong Kong must include in the itinerary a trip to the Macau of Jonathan Porter, and a copy of "Macau: The Imaginary City". This is not a history text book but rather a collection of historical and cultural fabrics with which Porter weaves his tapestry. The book prepared me for my recent visit in June 99, and my second reading, since arriving home, has added to my appreciation and understanding of a city which was a doorway for Europeans and Chinese to peer into each others' world perspectives. And in a history of more than four hundred years, elements of each synthesized which gives Macau it wonderful uniqueness today.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book on Macau. I was using this book as one source for a paper I was writing on Macau for a university class. I became fascinated with Macau ever since a visit there, and this book really does justice to Macau's past. I was surprised at how interesting Macau: The Imaginary City is. The book is jam-packed with interesting historical anecdotes about the colorful people who have lived in the colony as well as the culture, historic events, and geography of the enclave. In addition, the book is always fascinating and never boring because Porter is such a good writer. This book is a must for anyone interested in the city. After reading it, I'd like to visit the city again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JC on January 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book offers history to those of us who come from the Portuguese whose families arrived in China and stayed awhile. History untold... has finally arrived.
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