Category Archives: Republican China

Discussion of Chinese history from about 1911 to 1949

Review of The Man on Mao’s Right

Portrait of a diplomat Ji, Chaozhu. The man on Mao’s right: from Harvard yard to Tiananmen Square, my life inside China’s Foreign Ministry. New York: Random House, 2008. For those interested in the rise of the Chinese diplomatic establishment, this … Continue reading

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Review of China Nurse, 1932-1939

On the front lines Ewen, Jean. China nurse, 1932-1939. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1981. Jean Ewen was a Canadian nurse who spent 6 years in China, working first with Catholic missionaries, then with the Chinese Communists’ 8th and New 4th … Continue reading

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Review of Decadence Mandchoue

Indefatigable reiteration Backhouse, Edmund Trelawny. Decadence Mandchoue: The China Memoirs of Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse. Ed. Derek Sandhaus. Hong Kong: Earnshaw, 2011. Make no mistake about it: Decadence Mandchoue is a work of pure fantasy, for the most part a … Continue reading

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Chiang Kai-shek Meets Tu Yueh-sheng

This note picks up from my last post on the sources and claims of Sterling Seagrave’s 1985 book, The Soong Dynasty (SD). SD enjoyed a fourteen-week run on the New York Times best-seller list and launched Seagrave’s career as a … Continue reading

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A Historical Relic?

I recently ran across the Qing Research Portal, a website which unfortunately has stopped updating. It offers the “ECCP Reader”, an electronic version of Hummel’s Eminent Chinese of the Ch’ing Period, but the Windows version is not available, so I … Continue reading

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The Green Gang and the Blue Villa

Over the last four or five years, I’ve put in many hours looking at the details of Sterling Seagrave’s 1985 book, The Soong Dynasty. The book describes the rise and fall of China’s influential Soong family, and its connections with … Continue reading

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The Death of Phyllis Li

Anecdotes are the opium of popular history. They are the easiest things to add into any historical narrative or description, need few or no connections with the general subject, and are seldom subjected to a hard look by picky reviewers. … Continue reading

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