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NEAR FINE. As new except for a corner bump which has creased the corner of about 10 pages and 1/2" rip on the spine edge of the french flap cover. Map end papers. "The extraordinary events of the first half of this century in China-the collapse of the empire, the first Chinese republic, the defeat of the warlords by Chiang Kaishek, the war with Japan, the rise and ultimate triumph of the Chinese Communist Party..." 239 indexed pages.
This is a wonderful history of Shanghai told through interlocking portraits of several Chinese who played prominent roles in Shanghai history from 1900 to 1946. They are-
Du Yue Sheng, Shanghai's richest and most powerful secret society chief who controlled the opium trade who turned patriot fighting the Japanese invaders. Du died of asthma in 1951 in Hong Kong age 63 ( p 231 )
Wang Jing Wei, -the anointed successor of Sun Yat Sen- the Chinese Petain who sought a peace treaty with the Japanese and set up a puppet government in Nanjing ( p 135 ). He died in Japan of illness age 61 on 10 Oct 1944. ( P 166 )
Wang Jing Wei's wife was tried after the war as a Japanese collaborator. Sentenced to life imprisonment she refused a request from Mao Tse Tung conveyed through the widow of Sun Yat Sen to sign a confession of error in exchange for release on the ground that that would dishonour the sincere efforts of her husband. She died aged 69 in the 13th year of her imprisonment in 1959 in a Shanghai prison. ( P 205 )
General Dai Li the head of Chiang Kai Shek's powerful secret police. He died in a plane crash in Nanjing. ( P 195 )
Hu Lan Cheng a Minister in the puppet government of Wang Jing Wei. One of his 3 wives is Zhang Ai Ling a famous young writer. When they married she was 23. He was 38 years old ( p 174 )
When I read this book I was intrigued by the name Zhang Ai Ling and the fact that she was a famous young writer. My little grey cells, as Poirot would put it, recall that a few years ago a famous Chinese movie was released based on a novella set in wartime Shanghai by a Zhang Ai Ling. I was right upon checking. The movie Lust Caution was released in 2007.It is a Chinese espionage thriller film directed by Taiwanese American director Ang Lee.
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