Last Boat Out of Shanghai

Author: Helen Zia

Publisher: Ballantine Books

ISBN: 0525618864

Category: History

Page: 544

View: 2930


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 heartrending precursor to the struggles faced by emigrants today. “A true page-turner . . . [Helen] Zia has proven once again that history is something that happens to real people.”—New York Times bestselling author Lisa See NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JACQUELINE BOGRAD WELD AWARD FOR BIOGRAPHY Shanghai has historically been China’s jewel, 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 in every direction. Seventy years later, members of the last generation to fully recall this massive exodus have revealed their stories to Chinese American journalist Helen Zia, who interviewed hundreds of exiles about their journey 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 States. Benny, who as a teenager became the unwilling heir to his father’s dark 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 U.S. 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. Herself the daughter of immigrants from China, Zia is uniquely equipped to explain how crises like the Shanghai transition affect children and their families, students and their futures, and, ultimately, the way we see ourselves and those around us. Last Boat Out of Shanghai brings a poignant personal angle to the experiences of refugees then and, by extension, today. “Zia’s portraits are compassionate and heartbreaking, and they are, ultimately, the universal story of many families who leave their homeland as refugees and find less-than-welcoming circumstances on the other side.”—Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club

Champions Day: The End of Old Shanghai

Author: James Carter

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393635953

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 5871


How a single day revealed the history and foreshadowed the future of Shanghai. It is November 12, 1941, and the world is at war. In Shanghai, just weeks before Pearl Harbor, thousands celebrate the birthday of China’s founding father, Sun Yat-sen, in a new city center built to challenge European imperialism. Across town, crowds of Shanghai residents from all walks of life attend the funeral of China’s wealthiest woman, the Chinese-French widow of a Baghdadi Jewish businessman whose death was symbolic of the passing of a generation that had seen Shanghai’s rise to global prominence. But it is the racetrack that attracts the largest crowd of all. At the center of the International Settlement, the heart of Western colonization—but also of Chinese progressivism, art, commerce, cosmopolitanism, and celebrity—Champions Day unfolds, drawing tens of thousands of Chinese spectators and Europeans alike to bet on the horses. In a sharp and lively snapshot of the day’s events, James Carter recaptures the complex history of Old Shanghai. Champions Day is a kaleidoscopic portrait of city poised for revolution.

Helmi's Shadow

Author: David Horgan

Publisher: University of Nevada Press

ISBN: 1647790212

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 244

View: 6840


Helmi’s Shadow tells the sweeping true story of two Russian Jewish refugees, a mother (Rachel Koskin) and her daughter (Helmi). With determination and courage, they survived decades of hardship in the hidden corners of war-torn Asia and then journeyed across the Pacific at the end of the Second World War to become United States citizens after seeking safe harbor in the unlikely western desert town of Reno, Nevada. This compelling narrative is also a memoir, told lovingly by Helmi’s son, David, of growing up under the wings of these strong women in an unusual American family. Rachel Koskin was a middle-class Russian Jew born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1896. Ten years later, her family fled from the murderous pogroms against Jews in the Russian Empire eastward to Harbin, a Russian-controlled city within China’s borders on the harsh plain of Manchuria. Full of lively detail and the struggles of being stateless in a time of war, the narrative follows Rachel through her life in Harbin, which became a center of Russian culture in the Far East; the birth of her daughter, Helmi, in Kobe, Japan; their life together in the slums of Shanghai and back in Japan during World War II, where they endured many more hardships; and their subsequent immigration to the United States. This remarkable account uncovers a history of refugees living in war-torn China and Japan, a history that to this day remains largely unknown. It is also a story of survival during a long period of upheaval and war—from the Russian Revolution to the Holocaust—and an intimate portrait of an American immigrant family. David reveals both the joys and tragedies he experienced growing up in a multicultural household in post\-Second World War America with a Jewish mother, a live-in Russian grandmother, and a devout Irish Catholic American father. As David develops a clearer awareness of the mysterious past lives of his mother and grandmother—and the impact of these events on his own understanding of the long-term effects of fear, trauma, and loss—he shows us that, even in times of peace and security, we are all shadows of our past, marked by our experiences, whether we choose to reveal them to others or not.

Asian American Dreams

Author: Helen Zia

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1429980850

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 5210


The fascinating story of the rise of Asian Americans as a politically and socially influential racial group This groundbreaking book is about the transformation of Asian Americans from a few small, disconnected, and largely invisible ethnic groups into a self-identified racial group that is influencing every aspect of American society. It explores the junctures that shocked Asian Americans into motion and shaped a new consciousness, including the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, by two white autoworkers who believed he was Japanese; the apartheid-like working conditions of Filipinos in the Alaska canneries; the boycott of Korean American greengrocers in Brooklyn; the Los Angeles riots; and the casting of non-Asians in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. The book also examines the rampant stereotypes of Asian Americans. Helen Zia, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, was born in the 1950s when there were only 150,000 Chinese Americans in the entire country, and she writes as a personal witness to the dramatic changes involving Asian Americans. Written for both Asian Americans -- the fastest-growing population in the United States -- and non-Asians, Asian American Dreams argues that America can no longer afford to ignore these emergent, vital, and singular American people.

China 1949

Author: Graham Hutchings

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 0755607341

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 3090


"Excellent." The Economist "A gripping account." South China Morning Post "Well worth reading." The Morning Star "A persuasive and readable narrative." History Today "Elegantly written." The Tablet "An excellent study." The Chartist "Engaging." Asia Times The events of 1949 in China reverberated across the world and throughout the rest of the century. That tumultuous year saw the dramatic collapse of Chiang Kai-shek's 'pro-Western' Nationalist government, overthrown by Mao Zedong and his communist armies, and the foundation of the People's Republic of China. China 1949 follows the huge military forces that tramped across the country, the exile of once-powerful leaders and the alarm of the foreign powers watching on. The well-known figures of the Revolution are all here. But so are lesser known military and political leaders along with a host of 'ordinary' Chinese citizens and foreigners caught in the maelstrom. They include the often neglected but crucial role played by the 'Guangxi faction' within Chiang's own regime, the fate of a country woman who fled her village carrying her baby to avoid the fighting, a prominent Shanghai business man and a schoolboy from Nanyang, ordered by his teachers to trek south with his classmates in search of safety. Shadowing both the leaders and the people of China in 1949, Hutchings reveals the lived experiences, aftermath and consequences of this pivotal year -- one in which careers were made and ruined, and popular hopes for a 'new China' contrasted with fears that it would change the country forever. The legacy of 1949 still resonates today as the founding myth, source of national identity and root of the political behaviour of modern China. Graham Hutchings has written a vivid, gripping account of the year in which China abruptly changed course, and pulled the rest of world history along with it.

Made in Hong Kong

Author: Peter E. Hamilton

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231545703

Category: History

Page: 441

View: 9871


Between 1949 and 1997, Hong Kong transformed from a struggling British colonial outpost into a global financial capital. Made in Hong Kong delivers a new narrative of this metamorphosis, revealing Hong Kong both as a critical engine in the expansion and remaking of postwar global capitalism and as the linchpin of Sino-U.S. trade since the 1970s. Peter E. Hamilton explores the role of an overlooked transnational Chinese elite who fled to Hong Kong amid war and revolution. Despite losing material possessions, these industrialists, bankers, academics, and other professionals retained crucial connections to the United States. They used these relationships to enmesh themselves and Hong Kong with the U.S. through commercial ties and higher education. By the 1960s, Hong Kong had become a manufacturing powerhouse supplying American consumers, and by the 1970s it was the world’s largest sender of foreign students to American colleges and universities. Hong Kong’s reorientation toward U.S. international leadership enabled its transplanted Chinese elites to benefit from expanding American influence in Asia and positioned them to act as shepherds to China’s reengagement with global capitalism. After China’s reforms accelerated under Deng Xiaoping, Hong Kong became a crucial node for China’s export-driven development, connecting Chinese labor with the U.S. market. Analyzing untapped archival sources from around the world, this book demonstrates why we cannot understand postwar globalization, China’s economic rise, or today’s Sino-U.S. trade relationship without centering Hong Kong.

Last Dance at the Hotel Kempinski

Author: Robin Hirsch

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 300

View: 1813


Robin Hirsch was born in London during the Blitz, to German Jews who had escaped Hitler. Coming of age in postwar England with German-speaking parents, he learned very quickly the ironies of survival - his best friend at school, an English Jew, at the age of six called him a Nazi. In these memoirs, which span more than fifty years and which shift from Berlin to Brooklyn, from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires, from Shanghai to West Virginia, from Jerusalem to Beverly Hills, Hirsch wrestles with his ambiguous heritage, assembling the jigsaw puzzle both of his own life and of "a larger life which was once whole, but which was deracinated, decimated, and scattered across the globe." As Hirsch taps into the shared consciousness of this far-flung community, he discovers that the violence of the Holocaust "can breed in the survivor a myriad of responses - despair, silence, anger, a reciprocal violence, a reverence or an appetite for life, and on occasion, mirabile dictu, a sense of humor." With a similar mixture of feelings - and with considerable humor - he conjures up the costume ball at Berlin's Hotel Kempinski, where his parents first met; he relives with an uncle the horrors of Auschwitz and the miracle of his aunt's survival; he submits his infant son to the terrifying ritual of circumcision. The journey across boundaries and generations enables Hirsch to connect with his European past, to achieve a hard-earned measure of peace in the New World, and finally to forgive his parents: "What were their lives like before us, what had they given up, what had they lost, what out of the turmoil and the violence and the displacement had they managed to salvage, what, now, in the shadow of this history, did they feel they had accomplished?" The answer, Last Dance suggests, is found in the indomitable human spirit.

Annual Review of Immunology

Author: William E. Paul,C. Garrison Fathman,Laurie Glimcher

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780824330170

Category: Medical

Page: 1031

View: 8182


Talisman

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: American literature

Page: N.A

View: 7248