I mean I forgot Helen Zia interviewed I think than one hundred of these survivors about their smoother skinned days and chose four to pack into this dense knit fact packed epic Everyone in this book is running away from Shanghai and everyone clutches tightly to sundry items and family ties because you never know whether today s litter will be tomorrow s lifeline Or as Ali Wong puts it you better hold onto that retainer from the third grade cause it might come in handy as a shovel when you re busy stuffing gold up your butt and running away from the CommunistsOr My Dad When I Paid For Dinner In An Attempt dad when I paid for dinner in an attempt pay my own debts If
you don t keep that receipt how will you know that you paid don t keep that receipt how will you know that you paid right amount They could charge you
whatever they wantBut my dad doesn t really have a hoarding problem and they wantBut my dad doesn t really have a hoarding problem and do my grandparents because eventually the reta From 1931 onward the Chinese people were confronted with continuous Japanese aggression humiliation occupation and inhumanity In Helen Zia s new book LAST BOAT OUT OF SHANGHAI THE EPIC STORY OF THE CHINESE WHO FLED MAO S REVOLUTION the author seems to begin here story in 1937 when the Japanese launched their invasion of China however as she develops her story it is important to realize that the Japanese had their eyes on China as far back as the Historically engrossing Last Boat Out of Shanghai chronicles the lives of four Chinese individuals and how their lives were shaped from an early age through their struggles to adulthood Moving us from the interior of China and Shanghai to Hong Kong Taiwan and the US the author traces the footsteps of Benny Annuo Ho and Bing across the years their hardships and their resilience in struggling against life s challenges in a political climate that suppressed freedom and curtailed the ability to 11 million Jews exterminated starved gassed etc in Auschwitz300000 Chinese slaughtered beheaded raped etc in Nanking 146000 Japanese bombed burned irradiated etc in Hiroshima and Nagasaki Though numbers like these conjure images of the horrors of World War II it is easy to grow numb to the value that each of these statistical points held as human lives Last Boat Out of Shanghai is as powerful as an attempt as any to humanize th The book Last Boat Out of Shanghai tells the story of four people who faced Mao s Revolution in China and about their experiences These people all lived in Shanghai although their lifestyles and experiences were very different This is an important piece of history to cover because the experiences of people in Shanghai and the rest of China during World War II and Mao s Revolution are often overlooked especially in the American context This book offers valuable firsthand accounts about what it was like to live through these events and adds a needed complexity to how we view the rise of Communist China in history It also offers insights into the current refugee crisis as the author intends because of how it shows how refugees have been treated throughout the Twentieth Century while also demonstrating what they offer and how they will benefit the countries where they are accepted As a teacher I would use this as a way to help students gain better understanding of the time periods we are studying with regards to China It could be incorporated into lessons on World War II on the Pacific Front as well as lessons on the Cold War Overall I highly recommend this book as a way to read the perspectives of others to learn about an understudied era of history My head tells me the book is worth four stars but my gut reaction says it is good NOT very good This means I should give it three stars What is going on Please read the GR book description It is excellent There is no need to repeat what is written thereThe book presents a large uantity of historical information What was occurring in China as well as world events are covered over a period from the 1930s to the end of the 1950s Sino Chinese wars Japan s invasion and occupation of areas of China the Second World War as it played out in the Far East the conflicts between General MacArthur and President Truman the Cold War the Korean War and the political situation in both Taiwan and the British colony of Hong Kong are all covered What was happening in China and on the world scene shaped the lives of the four individuals the book shines a spotlight on In that so much history is covered each event is covered briefly This is problem number one for me The scope of the book is too wide What is a problem for me may not be so for othersThe four central figures are Ho Benny Bing and Annuo born in the years 1924 1928 1929 and 1935 respectively The latter two are women and the first two men We learn at the book s end that view spoilerBing hide spoiler. Ark wartime legacy must decide either to escape to Hong Kong or navigate the intricacies of a newly Communist China The resolute Annuo forced to flee her home with her father a defeated Nationalist official becomes an unwelcome exile in Taiwan The financially strapped Ho fights deportation from the US in order to continue his studies while his family struggles at home And Bing given away by her poor parents faces the prospect of a new life among strangers in America The lives of these men and women are marvelously portrayed revealing the dignity and triumph of personal survival.
characters ¸ eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Helen Zia
I picked up this book as something extra for a buddy read While
I Majored In Chinesemajored in Chinese in college I had not read too much on the subject over the past 30 yearsThis book is not the type of history I typically enjoy I tend to prefer the meta history wherein we learn about the overarching events that affect a person or place Focusing on a small group of individuals tends to loose meThis book did notIt traces the lives of several young Shanghai youth as they grow in war torn Shanghai and then flee to different parts of the world namely Taiwan or the USThe book really becomes interesting when the Korean War begins and people migrate to Formosa Taiwan This section of the book caught my attention because I started elementary school in the book caught my attention because I started elementary school in Learning about the history of the area where I lived as a kid was interesting Background Sis and I and our cousins on mom s side of the family were born in the US while our parents grew up during WWII Mom was born in Shanghai and her father worked for China Merchant Marine At first they owned a house in Little Tokyo then lived in row houses in Japanese controlled compounds near 76 Jessfield In December 1948 mom s family took a Merchant Marine ship to Japan I first started hearing their generation s stories when I was 22 sis was 18 and my cousin was 20 I This is non fic about people who lived in Shanghai in the 1930s 40s and witnessed first hand the Japanese occupation Chinese nationalists and communists I read is as a part of monthly reading for March 2020 at Non Fiction Book Club groupThe book starts in 1949 with an overview about plight of 1 to 15 mln Shanghainese of 6 mln city who run from incoming communists Most of them are rich and middle class families not usual poor refugees whom we often see in other storiesThe book then backtracks and starts in the mid 1930s by introducing all four main characters of different background Each part of the book is for a selected time period and tells these four uncommented except by Shanghai itself stories This kind of narration is not very well suited because only you get into the shoes of one person you re transferred to a completely different set of peopleThe persons are Ho a boy born on a farm in 1924 a son of landlord His family runs to the city from Japanese He is a bright one in the family and therefore destined for paid education first in China and then in the US Benny a boy born in 1928 in a family of compradors local agents for western businesses As a student his father fought for recognition of Chinese people rights but ended up a high level police official under Japanese occupation Bing a girl born in 1929 in the family of Chinese nationalist father and progressive mother Father worked underground during the war and a girl grew up without him They had to run to Taiwan with other nationalists Annuo a girl born in 1935 in a poor family who sell her to a childless woman for this ought to help with fecundity She is then transferred to another family with excessively strict mother and socialite elder sisterThere are a lot of interesting facts about the daily life 4 real life histories with high dramaSince my summer 2019 visit to China I ve read The Rape of Nanking and The Last Boat Out of Shanghai LBOS Both essentially begin in 1937 The former was about Japanese atrocities committed in Nanking also known as Nanjing in the winter of 1937 38 while the latter title extends historical coverage beyond Shanghai of the WWII era Against this harrowing history LBOS provides stories of survivors In 1931 Japan had gained control of Manchuria in northern China but harboured greater ambition The young Republic of China still had strong dissension between the Nationalists and Communists despite the continued military hostilities with Japan Their differences were partially set aside as the Second Sino Japanese War commenced with Japan s invasion of Tientsin in 1937 Although conuest didn t occur as uickly as originally believed Japan soon enough also gained control of Beijing and then Shanghai by November 1937Shanghai had nothing but superlatives in its description from the Pearl of the Orient to the Paris of the East With a significant presence of Europeans and Americans in their International Settlement and French Concession this was a modern sophisticated and economically vibrant city As such all varieties of characters and segments of society populated Shanghai LBOS follows four individuals and their families as they experience the dynamic swings of societal crisis during a foreign war then a civil war and finally some of their experiences as refugees Benny Pan was born in 1928 to a family that had grown wealthy via employment with the foreign businesses in Shanghai His father Zhijie however threw his lo. The dramatic real life stories of four young people caught up in the mass exodus of Shanghai in the wake of China's 1949 Communist revolution a precursor to the struggles faced by emigrants today Shanghai has historically been China's ewel its richest most modern and westernized city The bustling metropolis was home to sophisticated intellectuals entrepreneurs and a thriving middle class when Mao's proletarian revolution emerged victorious from the long civil war Terrified of the horrors the Communists would wreak upon their lives citizens of Shanghai who could afford to fled. T in with the powers to in order to
live the lifestyle Of The Rich And the rich and Following the Nationalist s Chiang Kai shek s corrupt example Zhijiethe lifestyle of the rich and famous Following the Nationalist s President Chiang Kai shek s corrupt example Zhijie with criminal elements in Shanghai and later brutally collaborated with the conuering Japanese against Chinese Benny was forever tainted with the sins of his father once the Communists won the civil war In conjunction with his elite education in a foreign missionary university Benny was not allowed permission to flee and through his life readers learn of China under Communist control including the disastrous Great Leap Forward of the Cultural RevolutionThe family of Ho Chow born in 1924 derived their income from their tenant farmers As the Japanese military advanced in 1937 the Chow family split up in order to increase their survival chances Ho Fundamentals of Sequential and Parallel Algorithms joined the majority of the Chow clan in Shanghai s foreign settlements as many regarded that as the safest sanctuary As the brightest Ho had the best chance in his family to leave China for advanced studies and to earn money for the rest of them As he forged a life in the US during a time of growing anti Communist sentiment Ho learned of the precarious life of the land owners in Mao s China The father of Annuo Lin born in 1935 worked for the Nationalist government and her mother was a trained physician Her father left his family for years in his patriotic fervor to serve the Nationalalists Her mother earned money shielded the family from anti Nationalist hunters by assuming forged identities and crossed war zones with the children when summoned by her spouse tooin him in Free China during the Japanese occupation With Annuo s family comes the description of how Taipei changed from a Japanese colony to the temporary capital of the Republic of ChinaThe last person is Bing Woo born in 1929 who illustrates the fragility of life for females from poor families in a society that valued only the sons In her third family the Woos Bing finally had a stronger safety net Elder sister Huiling was a glamorous and opportunistic survivor who had married a foreigner who was both gainfully employed and paid in stable US dollars Through Huiling s machinations Bing traveled to the US and married a Chinese American before her entry visa expired The personal stories against this tumultuous backdrop were worthy of 5 stars I liked the variety of perspectives and certainly the 1948 and 1949 accounts were nerve wracking because time was running out if one finally decided to flee It is a terrible calculation to make whether to abandon all that is familiar plus your property possessions and status or to remain and take your chances with an anti capitalist regime Many believed that life under fellow Chinese Communist or not couldn t be worse than under the Japanese especially those who knew about the events in Nanking The author wrote that there are no official estimates nor acknowledgement of the extent of the mass exodus Zia estimated about 25 percent of Shanghai s 6 million left in the late 1940sBut I am not rating this 5 stars Whenever I sensed the author s voice superimposed over her 4 main characters which was when they were all young in Part 1 the tone put me off a bit and felt inauthentic Then there s her choice of how she organized the 4 biographies which occasionally felt discordant It would have helped if Zia had included a timeline of key historical events The realities at that time were sufficiently dramatic that it didn t need the additional touches Zia had incorporated So LBOS wasn t stellar but it was pretty good and I m glad that I had read it Not only did I learn about China s history but also American foreign policy and history at the beginning of this year I resolved to Consume Less Produce More which is symptomatic I think of my general tendency to Be Very Unhappy That I m Happy And Do Stupid Things As a Result Another word for this personality trait is ambitious and another one is greedy I hoped to write words and listen to fewer podcasts practice violin and read fewer books at the end of this summer my parents came to new york before our Annual Family Vacation and at our first dinner of the whole affair my father completely neglected his unadon to inform me that this book will explain to you grandma and grandpa s generation which was also to say that it would explain to me his generation because hardship endured rolls over to kids in the form of unrepayable debt He offered me a piece of glazed eel mid rave and I took it because I love eel but also because I ve never really explained being kind of vegetarian to my parents Now that China is so Big and Shiny it is easy to forget that there are alive today gum smacking greybeards who grew up during China s civil war By easy to forget. In every direction Seventy years later members of the last generation to fully recall this massive exodus have revealed their stories to Chinese American When Someone You Love Is Addicted To Alcohol Or Drugs journalist Helen Zia who interviewed hundreds of exiles about theirourney through one of the most tumultuous events of the twentieth century From these moving accounts Zia weaves together the stories of four young Shanghai residents who wrestled with the decision to abandon everything for an uncertain life as refugees in Hong Kong Taiwan and the United StatesBenny who as a teenager became the unwilling heir to his father's