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In an epic story that spans 150 years and continues to the present day, Iris Chang tells of a people's search for a better life--the determination of the Chinese to forge an identity and a destiny in a strange land and, often against great obstacles, to find success. She chronicles the many accomplishments in America of Chinese immigrants and their descendents: building the infrastructure of their adopted country, fighting racist and exclusionary laws, walking the racial tightrope between black and white, contributing to major scientific and technological advances, expanding the literary canon, and influencing the way we think about racial and ethnic groups. Interweaving political, social, economic, and cultural history, as well as the stories of individuals, Chang offers a bracing view not only of what it means to be Chinese American, but also of what it is to be American.
Chang ("The Rape of Nanking") tells how at certain times in history, certain Chinese decided to leave the land of their ancestors and their own people to move to the US; and what happened to them when they arrived.
In December 1937, in what was then the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking (Nanjing) and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured, and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians. Amazingly, the story of this atrocity-one of the worst in world history-continues to be denied by the Japanese government. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents in four different languages (many never before published), Iris Chang, whose own grandparents barely escaped the massacre, has written what will surely be the definitive, English-language history of this horrifying episode-one that the Japanese have tried for years to erase from public consciousness. The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: that of the Japanese soldiers who performed it; of the Chinese civilians who endured it; and finally of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost 300,000 Chinese. It was Chang who discovered the diaries of the German leader of this rescue effort, John Rabe, whom she calls the "Oskar Schindler of China. " A loyal supporter of Adolf Hitler but far from the terror planned in his Nazi-controlled homeland, he worked tirelessly to save the innocent from slaughter. But this book does more than just narrate details of an orgy of violence; it attempts to analyze the degree to which the Japanese imperial government and its militaristic culture fostered in the Japanese soldier a total disregard for human life. Finally, it tells one more shocking story: Despite the fact that the death toll at Nanking exceeded the immediate deaths from the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined (and even the total wartime casualty count of entire European countries), the Cold War led to a concerted effort on the part of the West and even the Chinese to court the loyalty of Japan and stifle open discussion of this atrocity. Indeed, Chang characterized this conspiracy of silence, which persists to this day, as "a second rape. "
In December 1937, flush with confidence from their victories over the Nationalists in Beijing and Shanghai, the Japanese Army swept into Nanking and, over the next seven weeks, looted and burned the city and systematically raped, brutalized, and murdered more than 250,000 defenseless civilians. Officially denied by the Japanese government, the story of this atrocity has been suppressed for more than half a century. Now Iris Chang, a Chinese-American writer whose own grandparents survived the massacre, reveals the full horror of their experience and puts a human face on one of the century's worst tragedies. Chang tells the story from three very different perspectives -- that of the Chinese who endured it; the Japanese soldiers who performed it; and that of a heroic group of European and American businessmen and clergy living in Nanking. Led by John Rabe, a German and a member of the Nazi party, these foreigners risked their own lives by defying the Japanese authorities and creating a safety zone in the middle of the city that harbored perhaps 100,000 Chinese. Iris Chang effectively relates the irony of the enigmatic hero John Rabe, a loyal supporter of Adolf Hitler who nevertheless worked tirelessly to save the innocent from slaughter, by drawing on interviews with survivors and Rabe's own diary entries.
The definitive biography of Tsien Hsue-Shen, the pioneer of the American space age who was mysteriously accused of being a communist and deported.
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