The China Society for People's Friendship Studies (PFS) in cooperation with the Foreign Languages Press (FLP) in Beijing has arranged for the re-publication, in the series entitled Light on China, of some fifty books written in English between the 1860s and the founding years of the People's Republic by journalistic and other sympathetic eyewitnesses of the revolutionary events...
The China Society for People's Friendship Studies (PFS) in cooperation with the Foreign Languages Press (FLP) in Beijing has arranged for the re-publication, in the series entitled Light on China, of some fifty books written in English between the 1860s and the founding years of the People's Republic by journalistic and other sympathetic eyewitnesses of the revolutionary events described.Most of these books have long been out of print, but are now being brought back to life for the benefit of readers in China and abroad.
The author visited China in 1976 as a young American intrigued by the accomplishments of China's revolution. He visited again in 1978, and in 1979 moved to Henan Province where he taught in a provincial college for 2 years. He was drawn to the small group of aging foreigners who had embraced China and its Communist party during the revolution and who had chosen to remain in China afterward. He is currently with the School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A. He has authored two previous books and numerous articles on China. His bachelor's degree is from St. Andrews Presbyterian College and his doctorate is from Vanderbilt University.
This is a detailed account of the life of George Hatem, also known as Ma Haide. The author begins with the early development of the Chinese Communist party and with the childhood and education of George Hatem in the U.S.A. He then follows the further education of Hatem, his moving to Shanghai in 1934 at the age of 24, his involvement with the politics of that time and place, and his eventually joining the Red Army at the end of the Long March. In 1937 he joined the Communist party, and in 1949 he was part of the Red Army which conquered Beijing. Shortly afterward, he became the first foreigner to be granted Chinese citizenship. For many years he was an advisor to the Ministry of Public Health where he influenced policy in China's struggle with venereal disease and leprosy up until his death in 1988.
This is a book about politics and about Ma Haide's personality. The details of his political views and his social and family life are exhaustive. On the other hand, accounts of his professional life in the public health of China are extremely sketchy and, with regard to leprosy, contain a number of errors. The author is obviously in awe of Ma Haide and much of the text is simple adoration. As opposed to the dedicated "China hand," the casual reader will find the many details of Ma Haide's interactions with China's leaders somewhat less than riveting. Indeed, in places the book intrudes into many personal details of his life that seem to serve no useful purpose.