Member Book: Hamilton, "Made in Hong Kong: Transpacific Networks and a New History of Globalization"

Susanne Auerbach Discussion

Repost from  H-Asia


I'm pleased to announce the recent publication of my book, Made in Hong Kong: Transpacific Networks and a New History of Globalization (Columbia University Press, Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, 2021). The ISBNs are 9780231184854 (paperback); 9780231184847 (hardcover); and 9780231545709 (e-book). 440 pages. 

Made in Hong Kong re-examines Hong Kong as a key node in the expansion of postwar US-led global capitalism and as the linchpin of revived Sino-U.S. trade since the 1970s. Drawing on Chinese- and English-language sources from across Hong Kong, China, the United States, and the United Kingdom, I argue that Hong Kong went from 'rags to riches,' not as a 'tiger' economy or a British colony, but because its elite Chinese capitalists and academics developed instrumental transpacific networks with the United States as it claimed global leadership. In particular, I home in on the role of an overlooked transnational Chinese elite who fled to Hong Kong amid war and revolution. Despite losing material possessions, these industrialists, bankers, academics, and other professionals retained crucial connections to the United States. They used these relationships to enmesh themselves and Hong Kong with the U.S. through commercial ties and higher education. By the 1960s, Hong Kong had become a manufacturing powerhouse supplying American consumers, and by the 1970s it was the world’s largest sender of foreign students to American colleges and universities. Hong Kong’s reorientation toward U.S. international leadership enabled its transplanted Chinese elites to benefit from expanding American influence in Asia and then positioned them to act as shepherds to China’s reengagement with global capitalism. As Deng Xiaoping accelerated China’s reforms, Hong Kong's transpacific networks enabled the territory to rapidly become a key node of China’s export-driven development, connecting Chinese labor with the U.S. market. 

For more information, please see: For most customers, orders placed through the Columbia University Press website can receive a 20% discount off the cover price with the promo code CUP20. There will also be a free and open book launch event hosted by the HKU Society of Fellows on January 28 at 6 pm HKT:

Table of Contents:


Chapter 1. Capitalist Transplants: Elite Refugees and the First Reorientations of Hong Kong

Chapter 2. Christian Transplants: Nonelite Refugees and American Educational Outreach

Chapter 3. Cold War Partners: Hong Kong's "Refugee Colleges" and American Aid

Chapter 4. The Turning Point: Li Choh-ming and Kuashang Strategies at Chinese University

Chapter 5. Decolonization by Investment: American Social and Financial Capital in Hong Kong

Chapter 6. The Kuashang Effect: American Social Capital and Hong Kong's 1970s Takeoff

Chapter 7: Leading the Way: Kuashang Brokers in China, 1971-1982

Chapter 8: The Gatekeepers: Kuashang Strategies and a New Global Order, 1982-1992