One of the intensely contested issues in this volume is the definition of modernization. Some scholars (especially the Chinese) regard it as a socioeconomic transformation from an agricultural to an industrial economy.
Another hotly debated issue in this volume is whether China's modernization is home grown or Western inspired.
While most of the authors in this volume use a Western model to measure the success of China's modernization, Joshua Fogel distinguishes himself by advocating a comparative study of Asian modernization.
At a time when the current Chinese leaders are launching yet another round of campaign to modernize the country, the publication of this volume should help to stimulate further discussion about the nature of China's modernization. The two editors have done a service to the academic community by making such a broad variety of perspectives on China's modernization available to English readers.