Shanghai at the turn of the 20th century was the place to be. Opium was all the rage, parties were wild, and decadence was a way of life. Journalist Stella Dong looks back on a city that in its heyday was a thrilling combination of Las Vegas, the Wild West, Paris in the '20s, and Chicago during Prohibition. 8-page photo insert.Shanghai at the turn of the 20th century was the place to be. Opium was all the rage, parties were wild, and decadence was a way of life. Journalist Stella Dong looks back on a city that in its heyday was a thrilling combination of Las Vegas, the Wild West, Paris in the '20s, and Chicago during Prohibition. 8-page photo insert.Read Less
This book would be interesting for a reader looking for a rollicking and layman history of Shanghai from 1842 (the year when Shanghai was forced by the British Empire to be opened to foreign trade as a treaty port after the British Empire exacted revenge for the Ching dynasty's action to clamp down on the infamous opium trade carried out by the British) to 1949 ( the year when Shanghai fell to Mao Tee Tung).
Stella has covered the ground well. Her writing is easy to read. Her anecdotes are interesting. But if a reader wishes to follow up on them, unfortunately no endnotes are provided.
A reader looking for a more scholarly treatment of Shanghai's history will have to look elsewhere. If one is interested in how Shanghailanders lived during the war years under Japanese Occupation one can refer to In the Shadow of the rising sun: Shanghai under Japanese occupation by Christian Henriot (editor), Wen-hsin yeh (editor)First edition (march 19, 2009). If one is interested in how life was like in the International Settlement in Shanghai from 1919 to 1939, one can read Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai by Robert Bickers. This is an interesting biography of Richard Maurice Tinkler, a British man who lived there from 1919 to 1939. But it is much more than a biography. It described life in Shanghai in detailed.
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