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American Images of China, 1931-1949 Hardcover – June 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804725969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804725965
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,893,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Jesperson demonstrates admirably why we must recognise the images that once controlled the American way of thinking about China, why and how these were constructed, and why they have failed to disappear."—American Historical Review


"Thoroughly researched and lucidly written, this book is a superb addition to the all-too-meager literature."—Journal of American History

From the Back Cover

“Jesperson demonstrates admirably why we must recognise the images that once controlled the American way of thinking about China, why and how these were constructed, and why they have failed to disappear.”—American Historical Review
“Thoroughly researched and lucidly written, this book is a superb addition to the all-too-meager literature.”—Journal of American History

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Smallchief on September 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Henry Luce, publisher of Time, Life, and Fortune magazines was the son of a China missionary and he used his special expertise and prejudices to influence American attitudes and policy toward China. Americans have long had an affinity for China that they do not, for example, have for India or Japan. The author demonstrates that American attitudes toward China were often mistaken, idealizing Generalisimo and Madame Chiang -- good-solid Methodists and with a Golden Retriever at their feet as they sat companionably on a Western couch. China, the author maintains, was an extension of the Western frontier in the eyes of the missionaries and a country ripe for Americanization and Christianity. Truth had difficulty breaking through.

Well, this is pretty well-plowed ground and American misconceptions of foreign countries have been pretty common. Whatever the mistakes of Luce and others in looking at China through rosy glasses they were not as far off base as those who extolled the virtues of the Soviet Union and Stalin during these same years.

The author does a good job making his point but this is a book of a type: academic, over-priced, 200 pages long, and well-researched and documented with extensive footnotes and a good bibliography. Why can't the many books of this type -- with limited sales potential -- simply be published on the web and be available to everyone free? It's not as if the author is going to lose a fortune in royalties. This book ranks around number two million on the Amazon list of best sellers.

Smallchief
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