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Distributed for Hong Kong University Press

May Days in Hong Kong

Riot and Emergency in 1967

In this study of the anti-colonial riots which erupted in Hong Kong in May 1967, the authors of May Days in Hong Kong shed new light on their causes, their impact on future government policy and on Sino-British relations, and their legacy for Hong Kong society and governance, and the people of the territory. This is the first sustained exploration of the anti-colonial campaign that was inspired by the Cultural Revolution in China, recent events in Macao, and fuelled by inequalities in Hong Kong society. The riots presented a sustained challenge to British authority. As leftist-led demonstrations evolved into a terrorist bombing campaign, the British security response was also markedly strengthened. Using recently opened archival records, the authors explore the course of the events, their international and imperial contexts, and their connection to the upheaval in China, and Britain’s own changing world role. The events of 1967 are also grounded in the wider sweep of Hong Kong’s history. The second part of the book presents testimonies from Hong Kong residents, participants in different ways in the unfolding events, which speak to the salience of 1967 in Hong Kong’s popular memory. There has been an awkward silence about this episode for almost forty years, and this book begins to normalize discussion about it, and its place in Hong Kong, Chinese and British imperial history. The readership will include scholars and students studying Hong Kong, Chinese and British imperial history and politics, as well as a popular readership interested in Hong Kong history, society and politics.

232 pages | 6 x 9


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