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Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China: Tragedy and Splendor (Paperback)
  • Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China: Tragedy and Splendor (Paperback)
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Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China: Tragedy and Splendor (Paperback)

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£31.95
Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 05/12/2013
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Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China focuses on the many extraordinary contacts between East and West in China during the 20th century. Through a collection of short biographies situated in the context of Chinese and Western history, it offers a panoramic view of China as experienced by many different persons of Jewish origins during their sojourn in the Middle Kingdom. The book offers a journey across vast reaches of space and back through time. Our impressions of visits to China have often been biased by sensational journalism, Hollywood films and literary entertainment that have distorted the reality of this vast country. Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China offers the reality of life in twentieth century China through the carefully-researched biographies of a variety of typical and less typical Western visitors to the Middle Kingdom.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739190913
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 445 g
Dimensions: 229 x 153 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Jews in China doesn't sound like an obvious topic at first blush but Messmer has compiled an extensive, admirable, and fascinating collection of vignettes of a displaced people surviving and living through the most tumultuous time in China's history. -- A. Tom Grunfeld, Empire State College
In the pages of this amazing and unique book men and women come alive who arrived in China for longer or shorter periods of time. Hailing from Europe and elsewhere, there were merchants and journalists, physicians and writers, adventurers and communists, and refugees from Nazi Germany. They witnessed one of the most turbulent periods in Chinese history, their lives forever affected by what they saw and experienced. In vivid portrayals the author masterfully allows us glimpses of such women as Emily Hahn and Ruth Weiss, or men like Harold Isaacs and Theodore White and how they viewed 'their' China. Many like Willy Tonn regretfully left the China they had come to consider their own. Others like Israel Epstein and Sidney Shapiro remained in the country which they loved and where they felt they belonged. This is a superbly stimulating book. -- Irene Eber
Dr Matthias Messmer, a Swiss author and journalist, recently published a book titled "Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China: Tragedy and Splendor" that deals with the memories and biographies of Jewish personalities. * Shanghai Daily *
Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China is, indeed, panoramic: the book profiles a fascinating array of personalities whose only unifying characteristic is Jewish ethnicity. . . . Matthias Messmer. . . has vacuumed up details from newspapers, memoirs, academic archives, interviews, and other sources, and stitched them together into life narratives in an impressive feat of coordination and stamina. . . . As a reference volume for China through diverse Jewish eyes, then, this book succeeds. And it may serve as a blueprint for future writers seeking to articulate the depth and complexity of the `Jewish experience' in China. * South China Morning Post *
"Through a collection of short biographies situated in the context of Chinese and Western history, it offers a panoramic view of China as experiences by many different persons of Jewish origins during their sojourn in the Middle Kingdom" "Divided into four chapters the book deals with Jewish old China hands, such as the Sasoon and Kadoorie families and the Russian Jews from Czarist Empire. It then focuses on the travelers, journalists, couriers, emissaries, explorers, physicians, the refugees and `foreign experts'." "The book offers a magical journey back through time using carefully-researched biographies in a wide variety of typical and less typical Western visitors" * Jewish Times *
Readers of Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China will be amazed and astonished to learn how many Jews have influenced Chinese history. Finally, within one volume, an amazing, fascinating, exciting collection of old China hands, travelers, advisers, adventurers, diplomats, explorers, physicians, refugees, and even Mao's inner circle, will dazzle every reader. * Jewish Book Council *

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