e-Reading News: From Abridged to Original ── The Publication Controversy of the Chinese Version of "A Concise History of Hong Kong"

The book "A Concise History of Hong Kong" written by Professor John M. Carroll of the Department of History of the University of Hong Kong has attracted much attention since the original English version was published in 2007 . The book records the political and social conditions of Hong Kong from a colony to a special administrative region, and is highly regarded and listed as a suggested textbook for several Hong Kong-related courses. In 2013, Hong Kong Zhonghua Book Company published the Chinese version of this book , and the author wrote a new chapter specifically for this version.

However, the Chinese version of "A Concise History of Hong Kong" caused controversy and the author's dissatisfaction due to the deletion of sensitive content, resulting in two versions (the original version and the deleted version). In the "censored version", some "sensitive content" of the original version was deleted, including "Hong Kong did not gain independence, but returned to a government far more authoritarian than the government that ruled here for many years. The authoritarian government, in 1989 It was fully revealed in the Tiananmen Square incident in Beijing in 2019."; "Most Hong Kong people would rather accept British colonial rule than be ruled by China." and "Premier Li Peng". Since the covers of the two editions are the same, the International Book Numbers of the two editions are different. The ISBN of the "original edition" is "978-988-8263-20-2", while that of the "abridged edition" is "978-988-8263-34-9."

This deletion has aroused widespread concern and criticism. John M. Carroll himself also expressed disappointment and concern about this, and said that he had not been notified and agreed in advance. He also pointed out that the truncated version undermined the integrity of the content and affected Hong Kong's reputation for free speech.

Regarding this incident, Chunghwa Book Company argued that this "truncated version" was a batch of sample books specially produced to meet the needs of copyright negotiations in the Mainland, and was not for sales purposes; Readers go to the outlets of Zhonghua Book Company to change. However, a reporter from Hong Kong's "Apple Daily " found that the "truncated version" was also sent to Eslite Bookstore in Hong Kong for sale, which was inconsistent with Zhonghua Book Company's statement. The final result is nothing (frankly speaking, many things in Hong Kong have also ended in the same way in recent years...).

At the time, when you walked into a bookstore and bought the book, you might wonder which edition you bought. Until 2021, when Hummingbird Publishing House purchases the copyright of the translation of this book and republishes the " original Chinese translation", there will be no such worries (temporarily). Another more convenient solution is that you can buy the e-book version online, because "A Concise History of Hong Kong" was advertised as a complete version when it was released in Dumo in 2016. The new edition published by Hummingbird can now also be purchased on different platforms. By the way, this book has been removed from the Hong Kong Public Library in 2021, and there is no longer any stock in the library.

I encourage all Hong Kong people and those who care about Hong Kong to read this good book (please remember that it is the full version!), so as to gain an objective and comprehensive understanding of Hong Kong's development track over the past century and the origin of its unique identity.

Readmoo's link of "A Concise History of Hong Kong" Zhonghua Bookstore's full version (this version has been discontinued, it can no longer be searched on the Readmoo website, and can only be found by directly using the link. In addition, this version cannot be sold in China.)

Readmoo's link of "A Concise History of Hong Kong" Hummingbird Publishing (If you choose one of the two, you are encouraged to buy this Hummingbird edition, which can be regarded as a support for the Hong Kong publishing house. The author John M. Carroll also wrote a new preface for this edition, briefly describing this Ten years of Hong Kong's political development, including the new Hong Kong after the National Security Law)

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