About the Book
The history of old Shanghai is brought vividly to life in this classic work by Lynn Pan.
The tumultuous events of the first half of the 20th century in China have been told in numerous books: the collapse of the Qing, the first Chinese republic, the war with Japan, the rise and ultimate triumph of the Chinese Communist Party. What is exceptional about Lynn Pan’s account, however, is that she tells the story through a number of interlocking portraits – Du Yuesheng China’s most notorious secret society chief; Wang Jingwei, the “Chinese Pétain”; General Dai Li, the head of wartime Asia’s most powerful secret police. Through their eyes, their thoughts, their actions, we gain an unsurpassed look into the unfolding of history.
Among the arenas in which these people operated, it was the great city of Shanghai where the gathering maelstrom of war and revolution was marked by the greatest paradox. And it is Shanghai that forms the dramatic backdrop to the extraordinary events that take place in this book.
With historical insight and an intuition for Chinese character and behaviour, Lynn Pan illuminates both the unique city and its unique personalities. This compelling re-creation of a fascinating era is both an unusual slice of history and a narrative bordering on fiction. No reader interested in China will be indifferent to this book, for few writers have told its story with so sure a grasp of the Chinese psyche.
About the Author
Lynn Pan is an award-winning author of several books, including China's Sorrow, which won the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize. She is also the editor of the acclaimed Encyclopedia of the Chinese Overseas. Lynn studied at the universities of London and Cambridge, and has worked as a social scientist, journalist and writer in London, Geneva, Helsinki, Hong Kong and Singapore. She current;y lives in Shanghai, the city of her birth.