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An evocative account of the infamous nightlife district of pre-communist Beijing, from the internationally acclaimed author of the book Midnight in Peking. The Badlands, a warren of narrow hutongs in the eastern district of old Peking, had its heyday in the 1930s. Home to the city's drifters, misfits and the odd bohemian, it was a place of opium dens, dive bars, brothels, flophouses and cabarets, and was infamous for its ability to satisfy every human desire from the exotically entertaining to the criminally depraved. In these vignettes of eight non-Chinese residents of the precinct - White Russians, Americans and Europeans - internationally acclaimed author Paul French brings the Badlands vividly back to life, providing a short but potent account of a place and a way of life until now largely forgotten, but here rendered unforgettable.
Carl Crow arrived in Shanghai in 1911 and made the city his home for the next quarter of a century, working there as a journalist, newspaper proprietor, and groundbreaking adman. He also did stints as a hostage negotiator, emergency police sergeant, gentleman farmer, go-between for the American government, and propagandist. As his career progressed, so did the fortunes of Shanghai. The city transformed itself from a dull colonial backwater when Crow arrived, to the thriving and ruthless cosmopolitan metropolis of the 1930s when Crow wrote his pioneering book - 400 Million Customers - that encouraged a flood of businesses into the China market in an intriguing foreshadowing of today's boom. Among Crow's exploits were attending the negotiations in Peking that led to the fall of the Qing Dynasty, getting a scoop on Japanese interference in China during the First World War, negotiating the release of a group of Western hostages from a mountain bandit lair, and being one of the first Westerners to journey up the Burma Road during the Second World War. He met most of the major figures of the time, including Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, the Soong sisters, and Mao's second-in-command Zhou En-lai. During the Second World War, he worked for American intelligence alongside Owen Lattimore, coordinating US policies to support China against Japan. The story of this one exceptional man gives us a rich view of Shanghai and China during those tempestuous years. This is a book for all with an interest in Shanghai and China of this period, and those with an interest in the development of journalism and business there.
Midnight in Peking is a gripping true murder mystery by Paul FrenchTHE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER - AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4'A first-rate murder story, a thrilling narrative. Hurtles along from one cliffhanger to the next' SpectatorPeking, 1937:The teenage daughter of a British consul is brutally slaughtered. The police investigation is botched; as war looms British and Chinese authorities close ranks. A grieving father vows to uncover the truth - alone. Seventy-five years later, historian Paul French uncovers a stash of forgotten documents revealing the killer's identity . . . For those who loved The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil this is a riveting and evocative true crime classic. 'Gripping, spellbinding . . . drawing the reader from the very first pages into an unwholesome, macabre world' Guardian'Part historical docudrama, part tragic opera . . . it is French's enormous achievement that he pieces together the puzzle. He tells this tale with the skill of an Agatha Christie' Financial Times'Fascinating and irresistible. I couldn't put it down'John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil'Vivid, pulsating, riveting. It is the storytelling flair that marks Midnight in Peking so highly: with its false leads and twists . . . it sucks the reader in like the best fiction' ScotsmanBorn in London, Paul French has lived in China for more than 10 years. He is a widely published analyst and commentator on China; his books include a history of North Korea, a biography of Shanghai adman and adventurer Carl Crow, and a history of foreign correspondents in China.
This richly anecdotal guide to every street in Shanghai details many landmarks and stories associated with its best-known avenues. A definitive index to the street names of Shanghai, some of which have disappeared or been removed, allows historians, researchers, tourists, and the just plain curious to navigate the city in its pre-1949 incarnations, through the former International Settlement, French Concession, and External Roads area with a detailed map and alphabetical entry for every road. The book is lavishly illustrated with old advertising, images, and postcards of the streets and businesses, the bars and nightclubs, the people and characters of old Shanghai bringing alive the city in its previous heyday as the Pearl of the Orient. The Old Shanghai A-Zshould become the standard reference work as well as being an easy-to-use guide for researchers and visitors looking to recapture the glamour and uniqueness of old Shanghai. Paul Frenchis an analyst and writer who has worked in Shanghai for many years as a founder of Access Asia. His books includeCarl Crow: A Tough Old China HandandThrough the Looking Glass: China's Foreign Journalists from Opium War to Mao.
The convulsive history of foreign journalists in China starts with the newspapers printed in the European Factories of Canton in the 1820s and ends with the Communist revolution in 1949. It also starts with a duel between two editors over the China's future and ends with a fistfight in Shanghai over the revolution.
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