Wakeman’s articles in the 1979 collection(on the fall of Beijing city) clearly found its way into his 1985 book. On the one hand, Wakeman’s 2-volume thick book records the major events during the Ming-Qing transition, on the other hand, he adopts the style of “story-telling,” frequently taking perspectives of historical witnesses to present great details. Both his book and article serve as models which combine political events and historical details. Woven around the basic narrative of the Manchu invasion and the resistance of the Ming, this work draws from vast source materials, and pays due attention to specific topics such as military institution, local organization, peasant rebellions, literati society and the collaborators. Interspersed with illustrations, these accounts depict vivid pictures, both macro-political and micro-social, of the transitional period. Within such big pictures, almost all historical figures and events find their due locations. The Cambridge History of the Ming, Spence’s book on Zhang Dai, Wakeman’s work on the transition---they are all historical writings on a long period and numerous events. If the former two represent two axes---“objective” accounts of political events and “imaginative” narration, then Wakeman’s work might be an attempt of a middle path. There are some perennial questions about the Ming-Qing transition: Ming and Qing compared, what are the changes and continuities? Why did the Ming lose the war? What was the role of individuals in those historical events? Recent studies have maintained interests in this topics, but they have applied different methods and focuses. Thus we can see the collaborative strategies for survival, the realization of reform in the Qing which could not have been carried out in the Ming, and other “continuities” such as Confucian moral seeking and official exploitation of commerce.