New Translation by Christopher Rea and Bruce Rusk: The Book of Swindles

“‘I won’t lie to you,’ he said in a low voice. ‘I’m a petty thief… I’ve got a plan, and I just need your help to pull it off.’” — Zhang Yingyu

Our departments’ very own Christopher Rea and Bruce Rusk have translated The Book of Swindles, a chronicle of scams and deception from Ming China. These stories of fortunes made and lost, of cunning crooks and unsolved crimes make us ask: was swindling so widespread in 1600s China? What caused the profound social changes and moral anxiety at the time?

Rea and Rusk have been actively promoting their new book. See below for related interviews, reviews and stories: 

Sample story

Video interview with ChinaFile

Written interview with Columbia University Press

Podcast interview with China Econ Talk

Book review by the Asian Review of Books