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E international section of Shanghai where people sought refuge and escape from the oncoming Japanese In doing so Zia integrates the history of western imperialism in China dating back to the First Opium War 1839 1842 that produced the first uneual treaties that gave first England then other countries extraterritorial rights in China Outside of Shanghai Chinese peasants lived a life of poverty and the dichotomy emerged of abject misery coexisting with unabashed opulence The author employs the family histories of her main characters to describe the racist and ethnocentric attitudes and actions taken by foreigners in China As Zia presents her narrative many important historical events and occurrences are discussed Among the most interesting is the fact despite the danger and violence of Japanese occupation roughly 20000 Ashkenazi Jews were accepted in Shanghai and escaped the Holocaust By early 1943 over 7600 allied nationals mostly American British and Dutch were sent to internment camps which Zia points out were not as accommodating as those created in the United States for over 120000 Japanese Americans After the Japanese surrendered the issue of collaborationists raised its ugly head affecting family members who were arrested for their work with the Japanese Interestingly as soon as the Pacific war ended the Japanese continued to fight the Communist Chinese in the northeast under orders from the Americans and the Nationalists This angered the residences of Shanghai but the burgeoning civil war between the followers of Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai shek took precedence over everythingThe difficulties of displacement and reorientation following the Japanese defeat is on full display through Zia s protagonists Issues of legitimacy in all aspects of society emerged ie students who had left for the interior during the war v students who remained in Shanghai and were educated at universities Demonstrations some rioting were all part of the landscape of Shanghai between the end of the war and the arrival first of the Nationalists and then the CommunistsZia spends a great deal of time discussing the Nationalist seizure of Taiwan after the Maoist victory and the harsh dictatorship that was imposed by Chiang Kai Shek and his forces She follows American domestic politics and its impact on Bing and Ho as they tried to renew their lives in the United States and deal with immigration authorities as the Cold War evolved The McCarthyite period the outbreak of the Korean War and other events impacted all of Zia s subjects greatlyAs the narrative unfolds Zia introduces several interesting characters that have important roles to play in the lives of Benny Bing Ho and Annou Chief among them are Betty Woo Bing s adopted sister who seems to be able to support her family through her charm and savvy as she arranges marriages money and whatever needs that must be met Annou s father is a disaster as he hates his youngest daughter and Benny s father a Nationalist insider who is eventually captured and imprisoned by the Communists His father s background became a source of his own suffering as Zia describes his treatment by the Maoist government through numerous campaigns including the Cultural RevolutionAt certain points in the narrative the book devolves into a description of a series of human waves to escape oncoming tragedy First the Japanese in 1937 then the Communist Chinese in 1949 In each case massive numbers of refugees are created in Shanghai and later Taiwan Hong Kong and parts of Southeast Asia The mass exodus of 1949 produced an estimate of 15 million of Shanghai s 6 million residents scattering anywhere governments would accept them Zia s protagonists and their families are part of that exodus and she follows their stories to the present day What is clear is that the suffering of refugees during that period in history was a catastrophe for those people as are the refugee issues faced by survivors of the current Syrian Civil War events in the Sudan Yemen Darfur as well as migrants currently seeking entrance into the United StatesZia s work is to be commended as she presents a history of western imperialism Shanghai the diaspora of many Chinese as they disperse to Taiwan Hong Kong the United States and elsewhere after 1949 She narrates Chinese history through the eyes of her subjects and provides the reader excellent insights into events on the mainland Taiwan and Hong Kong Zia writes well and is sensitive to the experiences of her subjects and how they were impacted by historical events It is interesting that New York will become an area that all four of Zia s subjects find common experience and lastly she should be commended for her presentation of the Shanghai diaspora 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 through their struggles 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 make even the smallest of choices first under the Japanese during World War II followed swiftly under Communist rule The plight of Ho stranded in the US as an international student facing deportation to a China in internal turmoil lays before us the stark reality of tough choices Well researched and sometimes excruciating in detail the author shares the stories of these "Four Individuals With The "individuals with the Particularly for the US audience this historical saga is especially important as the tendency is to fixate primarily on illegal and legal immigration across its southern border there is a hunger by many across the world to move to the US I found the book a tad long but overall well done and it s an important political cultural and historical read 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 human 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 to cover because the experiences of people in Shanghai and the rest 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 wha. 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.
Download Ê PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ¾ Helen ZiaI picked up this book as something extra for a buddy read While I majored in Chinese History 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 Taiwan 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 remember being stunned I would periodically look at my cousin to see him furiously processing everything and realize OK I m not crazy he s hearing the same thing Sis has a fairly detailed family history and pictures from my mom who is now 86 Mom s family didn t starve the way others did because they learned to speak Japanese Cantonese Mandarin Shanghainese and EnglishReading this book was like suddenly encountering a much complete igsaw puzzle of our family history Thank You for writing this book Now that sis and I have read it we are able to ask my mom targeted uestions and fill in the gaps In addition we now have two much younger cousins who tragically never got to hear their dad s stories mom s oldest brother and this book is vital for them as well Their father was accepted to Jiao Tong University but ust as he was starting there the family left Shanghai He graduated from Todai 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 un 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 and Communists despite the continued 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 lot in with the powers to be in order to live the lifestyle of the rich and famous Following the Nationalist s President Chiang Kai shek s corrupt example Zhijie allied 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 oined 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 " family for years in 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 to oin 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 "females from poor families 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. 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. .
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 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 to pay my own debts If you don t keep that receipt how will you know that you paid the right amount They could charge you whatever they wantBut my dad doesn t really have a hoarding problem and neither do my grandparents because eventually the retainers and receipts become liabilities and you can sail farther when unmoored from your arrears You re still in the red of course but it fades away until it s ust a crimson flag with yellow stars on the horizon of your youth and now you re a high school dropout in remedial ESL for community college hopefuls and now you re a PhD candidate writing a thesis in words most English speakers will never use and now you re a consultant explaining to your daughter that if she doesn t change her wifi password from the default anyone who understands digital beamforming in wireless communications could hack into her network and lock her out of the Internet How can you live like this my father complained as I finally changed our wifi password to redacted but of course the real uestion is How did you leave behind your whole family to sit in a fanless Vancouver immigration office and end up having read books than I have this yearFrickMy grandpa won t eat sushi because he so hates the Japanese soldiers who occupied his house a silly restriction because salmon is pink ocean butter One storytelling session he raged that he had to bow to them whenever they crossed paths in the street soldiers not sushi Which I remembered when I read of the same thing in this Non Fiction book They could charge you whatever they wantFrickI think I read this book for the same reason that I eat meat around my parents I consume to prove that their forfeitures were not in vain and that I want to understand them and that I want the same things that they do And it s true I do I love books I love my
mom watching me eat a piece of glazed eel I love eel I love to be able to tell mywatching me eat a piece of glazed eel I love eel I love to be able to tell my Hey I finished this book you recommended to me which means Hey here we are in America after a thousand kowtows to money and fate and I saw my overdrawn account in full ust now so thank you dad this was a great book I can t believed i stopped consuming i ll never give up reading again 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 Sino Japanese War of 1894 5 the Twenty One Demands of 1915 during World War I and their incursions into Manchuria in 1931 By 1937 the situation had grown worse as Japan launched a large scale invasion Japanese brutality has been well documented by the Rape of Nanking and numerous other atrocities including a policy of torturing and killing civilians After eight years of fighting the Japanese were finally defeated in August 1945 and what followed was the no longer dormant civil war between the Communist Chinese led by Mao Zedong and the Nationalists led by Chiang Kai Shek that resulted in the Maoist victory in late 1949 Everyone was not enthralled with the arrival of communist troops closing in on Shanghai During the World War II Shanghai was divided into a Chinese section and an international one with a French concession where Chinese Europeans English and others were safe from the Japanese for a good part of the war Rich foreigners and native Chinese members of the middle class who had cooperated with the west Christian missionaries and those educated during at that time feared for their lives The city of Shanghai was the symbol of Chinese westernization and the focal point of escaping the mainland from oncoming Communist soldiers According to Zia a child of two refugees there is nothing written in English on the plight of those who attempted to flee in 1949 Her new book is designed to fill that vacuumZia s narrative traces the lives of four people beginning with Benny Pan the privileged nine year old son of an accountant and an officer in the police auxiliary who will become Police Commissioner in Shanghai Ho Chow the thirteen year old son of a land owning gentry family Bing Woo an eight year old girl who has been given away two times by her blood family and the first family that accepted her and Annuo Liu the
TWO YEAR OLD DAUGHTER OF Ayear old daughter of a Nationalist leader Zia will follow the lives of these characters and members of her family well into the present In all instances in dealing with these characters deference was paid to Chinese traditions as a dominant theme Whether issues dealing with family relationships key decision making or dealing with outside threats the opinion of women gave way to those of men despite the danger it might create for family members Another constant in the lives of these four characters was the fear of the Japanese to the point that several individuals discussed had to take on new identities to survive especially those who had to travel back and forth into the interior of China to be with fathers or escape arrestZia "Does A Masterful Job "a masterful Murder at the Mansion job the origin of western control of th. In every direction Seventy years later members of the last generation to fully recall this massive exodus have revealed their stories to Chinese Americanournalist Helen Zia who interviewed hundreds of exiles about their ourney 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 ,