Abstract: Debate can advance scholarly discussion, and I am grateful to JAS for the chance to do so here. As much as possible, I would like to move forward by introducing additional arguments and evidence. However, some recapitulation of the book under discussion is inevitable, as is some review of debates related to Philip Huang’s book on a related topic. Some return to previously plowed ground is further necessitated by the nature of his review. First, he has fundamentally misunderstood what my book claims, as well as the support for some of those claims. I will not correct all of these errors here, but I will need to go over some of the major examples. Second, a central contention of his review is that his 1990 book, The Peasant Family and Rural Development in the Yangzi Delta, 1350–1988 remains the best framework for understanding the delta’s economy over that entire period. Huang is; of course, entitled to that view: but in reasserting that book’s thesis he ignores rather than responds to t