Whitey Smith was a jazz drummer from San Francisco who landed in Shanghai in 1922, just in time to help ignite the Jazz Age in one of the world’s most entertainment-crazed cities. It is said he brought Jazz to China, and that claim is arguably true. This memoir tells the story of his amazing life and adventures in Shanghai nightlife in the 1920s and 1930s, and then as a nightclub owner in Manila and an internee in a Japanese camp during World War II. It is written with great humor, a collection of the great yarns he would have told at the bar through the years.
The year was 1937, and Japan had just started its attack on central China, starting with Shanghai.It was in effect the start of World War Two, and it marked the moment when the world of Old Shanghai started to crumble. The two volumes of Shanghai’s Schemozzle re-published here together for the first time, are amongst the rarest of the materials from that golden era of old Shanghai, the 1930s.
Unexpectedly in 1958, an irreverent British journalist and Australian cartoonist duo were granted visas to visit Communist China at its most closed and inscrutable. They went, the saw, and they produced one of the great classics of China books, Willow Pattern Walkabout, a unique and sadly forgotten book, now resurrected. Emerging from the writings of Edward “Bernie” Kirwan Ward and the drawings of Paul Rigby, both residents of Perth in Australia, is a picture of China at a key moment in its history, still feeding off the exhilaration of the creation of “People’s China” in 1949, and full of optimism and blind idealism. The two traveled on a path through the “New China” that was micromanaged by the communist authorities, but they still harvested a rich collection of insights and observations tinged with skepticism and good humor.
December, 1903. A border dispute escalates amid rumors of a proposed secret alliance between Russia and the religious monarchy at Lhasa. British Colonel Francis Younghusband marches his Indian troops north with a battalion of coolies and special correspondent for The Daily Mail Edmund Candler in tow. It was a thrilling new chapter in the “Great Game” of Asian colonial supremacy, which sent the men deep into the heart of a region that few outsiders had ever lived to recount.