"Collecting and scrutinizing imperial archives in Taipei, Beijing, Chongqing, and even Paris, as well as in some major East Asian libraries in the United States, Dai successfully presents a solid and comprehensive study on a previously ignored region of the Qing Dynasty."
-The Chinese Historical Review, The Chinese Historical Review
"This pioneering work is a well-crafted narrative which shows the extensive local effects of central court decisions. Most important, it demonstrates clearly the fundamental importance of military institutions and policies for the formation of the empire."
-Peter C. Perdue, Yale University
"An excellent contribution to the field of Qing history. This is regional history at its best. Dai's study both engages and transcends local concerns, showing how regional histories are directly affected by national and international considerations."
-Laura Hostetler, University of Illinois at Chicago
"This excellent narrative proves that the dynamic process of imperial strategy exhibited on the Sichuan frontier and Tibet during the early Qing is critical to understanding the history of Qing as a whole, making this book an essential reading for all specialists."
"Dai's revisionist work forces us to reconsider two sacred tropes in Chinese history, the predominance of civilian over military values, and that Qing success rested on blind adherence to Chinese administrative norms."
-Blaine Chiasson, Canadian Journal of History, Volume XLVI
"Dai has provided us with a highly informative study of how state policies and military institutions shaped the socioeconomic reconstruction of eighteenth-century Sichuan . . . . [and] has provided us with a valuable study of how state policy and military institutions led to the dramatic reconstruction of Sichuan province during the eighteenth century."
-John Herman, Pacific Affairs, June 2011
"Provides a fresh explanation of Sichuan's place in the Qing system based on the empire's strategic endeavor in the Tibetan and Mongolian regions of Inner Asia."
-Journal of Asian Studies
"Dai's vivid study of Sichuan allows us to see in some detail the ways in which Qing expansion into Dzungharia and Tibet profoundly militarized the economies and the political elites of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi, while nurturing the intertwining of mobilization and corruption that made the empire as incapable of containing rebellion in the heartland as it was further extending its conquests at the borders."
-The China Quarterly
"This is a wonderful, meticulously-documented and tersely written work on the Sichuan frontier and, more broadly, on Qing China's empire building in the Southwest. It is also a welcome addition to the exciting literature on the history of the Qing frontier."
-Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
"This book is a brilliant study of the interplay between regional and central governments during a pivotal period as China expanded into Tibet and Xingjiang. Summing up: Essential."