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City on Fire: The Fight for Hong Kong

Regular price $ 20.00

by Antony Dapiran

Scribe US

6/23/2020, paperback

SKU: 9781950354276


A long-term resident and expert observer of dissent in Hong Kong takes readers to the frontlines of Hong Kong's revolution.

Through the long, hot summer of 2019, Hong Kong burned. Anti-government protests, sparked by a government proposal to introduce a controversial extradition law, grew into a pro-democracy movement that engulfed the city for months. Protesters fought street battles with police, and the unrest brought the People's Liberation Army to the doorstep of Hong Kong. Driven primarily by youth protesters with their 'Be water!' philosophy, borrowed from hometown hero Bruce Lee, this leaderless, technology-driven protest movement defied a global superpower and changed Hong Kong, perhaps forever.

In City on Fire, Antony Dapiran provides the first detailed analysis of the protests, and reveals the protesters' unique tactics. He explains how the movement fits into the city's long history of dissent, examines the cultural aspects of the movement, and looks at what the protests will mean for the future of Hong Kong, China, and China's place in the world.

City on Fire will be seen as the definitive account of an historic upheaval.


"Illuminates every phase, trigger and turning point, skirmish and tactic in what became "a fight for the very soul of the city"." --South China Morning Post

"It gives a sense of immediacy and lived experience which is powerful and compelling; there is a rawness to passages of the book, and a sense of the unresolved trauma that last summer marked." --Asian Review of Books

"In smooth, heady prose that blends legal scholarship with the romanticism of a battle for independence, Dapiran shows...a city unhinged, on the verge of breakdown."  --Japan Times

"Dapiran shows how the protests brought worldwide attention to Hong Kong and civil liberties in an autonomous region. Readers will appreciate how the author places the events of 2019 in the context of earlier episodes in Hong Kong's history such as the 2014 Umbrella Movement and the 1967 riots. This fascinating read is essential for anyone interested in the current affairs of Hong Kong, specifically, and China, generally." STARRED REVIEW --Library Journal

"Excellent reportage that is of critical importance in understanding contemporary Chinese politics." STARRED REVIEW --Kirkus Reviews

"Readers interested in Hong Kong's history and politics and the history of social movements will find this engaging, engrossing book to be crucial in understanding the role of political demonstration in contemporary Hong Kong."  --Booklist

About the Author:

A long-time resident of Hong Kong, Antony Dapiran has written about the protests for The Atlantic, The Guardian, and New Statesman, has been interviewed on the subject by CNN, CNBC, CBC, and the BBC, and his expert views have been quoted by leading media outlets across the globe, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times.