Shanghai: China Weekly Review, April 1931. Hardcover. Fourth updated edition of a volume first published in 1918. More than 1,000 biographical sketches of important Chinese men and women during the period of internal upheaval and foreign aggression in which China emerged from centuries of imperial dynastic rule to become the Republic of China. This precarious period, in which with regional power centers fought one another for control, nevertheless produced an outreach to the outside world, seen here in the complicated lives of individuals. This is the first copy that we have encountered on the market.
The sketches are almost universally accompanied with photographic portraits (some dressed in Western clothing, some in Chinese), which appeared previously in the China Weekly Review; an advertisement at the rear of the volume states that The Review was first published in 1917, and was the most widely read foreign language paper published in the Far East.
The sketches include many military, government and finance figures, including: Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the Republic's first president: "with wonderful power of revolutionary organization, this one man was largely responsible for the overthrow of the autocratic though effete, Manchu Dynasty" (first page following the Preface,) and General Chiang Kai-shek (p78). Dr. Vi-Kyuin Wellington Koo, retired government official, and author of "The Status of Aliens in China" is also listed here; he wrote about extraterritoriality and the protection it offered to aliens in China, was educated at Columbia University and retired in 1927 as Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs (p208). Interestingly, we have not located the names of early Communist Party members in these pages; some individuals recorded as government officials have biographies which conclude "no further information as of 1923".
People in other professions include the head of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; a university professor who studied at Grinnell College in the US; a railroad company executive; a Shanghai district court judge; a jurist and lecturer who studied in Berlin before becoming general manager of the China Times in Shanghai, and many more.
One of the few women who appear is Mrs. Herman C. E. Liu, described as a "welfare worker". Mrs. Liu was born in 1897, graduated from Northwestern University, and became president of the Woman Suffrage Association of China (women won the right to vote in China in 1947). She also served on the Birth Control League of China, and was founder of the Shanghai Settlement house for slave girls (p268).
8vo, 512pp, 25pp index, 7 pp ads, and ads at paste downs. The index is enormously helpful as it gives the names of each individual in English and Chinese and the page on their profile appears. Text printed in two columns. Black cloth covers, gilt title on front, spine and back cover (in Chinese). The back cover with ornate gilt borders, the gilt a bit rubbed. Covers slt marked, corners a bit bumped, interior clean and unmarked. Preface dated 1931. Small typed paper label laid down on title page: "With the compliments of Dr. C.T. Wang." possibly referring to Dr. Chengting T. Wang (1882-1961) who was a diplomat for the Republic of China and Ambassador to the United States. OCLC: 3444106. Otherwise very good condition. Item #22587