“Shirley Temple” in Wonderland meets Chinese opium addicts, Nazis, and Japanese bayonets. China in the 1930s and a young American girl is an eye-witness as the world falls apart.
China in the late 1940s was another world, an ancient society still in the grips of feudalism, desperately poor and in need of modernisation. There are many formal histories of those pivotal and turbulent times but Jack Jones is among the few foreigners to have written contemporary accounts of day-to-day life there
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.
For two years, Der Ling was the favorite lady-in-waiting to the Empress Dowager Cixi in the imperial palace in Beijing. This book provides a unique and surprisingly intimate portrait of the Dragon Lady, who ruled China for 47 years, and brought the country to the brink of destruction.