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Book Title: China 1921: The Travel Guide|
The author of the book: Carl Crow
Edition: Camphor Press
Date of issue: August 31st 2014
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 864 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.4
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Set the time machine for China, the year 1921. Experience first-hand the Middle Kingdom’s Golden Age of Travel, a time when steamships and railways had opened up new possibilities for the adventurous sojourner, yet the country had “lost none of its unique charm” and remained “as interesting and strange as it was to Europeans who more than five hundred years ago read Marco Polo’s amazing account of the land of the Great Khan.”
This Camphor Press book is a specially abridged version of the original The Travelers’ Handbook for China by Shanghai-based American newsman Carl Crow. It comes with maps, illustrations, and has a new introduction from Paul French (Carl Crow biographer and author of the true crime bestseller Midnight in Peking).
China 1921 describes a country in flux, modernising yet still Medieval in places, before its rich culture was devastated by war, Communism, and rapid economic development. Readers will find a land of thriving religious centers, exquisite arts and crafts, striking regional diversity, and a countryside teeming with fauna (“Wild game abounds in all parts of China,” Crow tells the would-be sportsman).
There are comprehensive sections on “the great semi-foreign port of Shanghai, the mysterious capital, Peking, the southern metropolis, Canton, the tomb of Confucius,” mountain retreats and beach resorts where one could escape the summer heat, and also details on less accessible destinations. “The more venturesome who are willing to leave the railways, steamship lines and hotels, travel on wheelbarrows, donkeys, or in sedan chairs and junks, and live in native inns, can visit any part of the country at small cost, and enjoy rare experiences.”
This was the best guide of its time, an upbeat but honest look at a now-vanished China. Crow’s exuberance is perfectly captured in his assurance about travel safety: “Robbers and pirates exist, of course, and there is usually a revolution or rebellion going on in some part of the country but these things add zest rather than danger to the journey.”
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Read information about the authorCarl Crow was a Missouri-born newspaperman, businessman, and author who managed several newspapers and then opened the first Western advertising agency in Shanghai, China. He ran the agency for 19 years, creating calendar advertisements and the so-called sexy China Girl poster. He was also founding editor of the Shanghai Evening Post.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Crow wrote 13 books; and his most popular book, 400 Million Customers (1937)won one of the early National Book Awards: the Most Original Book of 1937.
Carl Crow arrived in Shanghai in 1911 and made the city his home for a quarter of a century, working there as a journalist, newspaper proprietor, and groundbreaking ad-man. 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.
Among Crow’s exploits were attending the negotiations in Peking which led to the fall of the Qing Dynasty, getting a scoop on the 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 and interviewed most of the major figures of the time, including Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, the Soong sisters, and Mao Zedong’s second-in-command Zhou En-lai. During the Second World War he worked for American intelligence alongside Owen Lattimore, co-ordinating US policies to support China against Japan.
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