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Return to the Middle Kingdom: One Family, Three Revolutionaries, and the Birth of Modern China Hardcover – June 3, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is a good read, but I found it difficult to get past the first chapter. This chapter discusses Ms Chen's grandfather-in-law and his role in the nineteenth-century Taiping rebellion. The author caveats much of what she says to the point of distraction. Once I got to where she discusses Eugene Chen, I read through the book at a good clip.
I recommend this book because it's just great reading in general.
I highly recommend the book for both the entertainment and education value. If you have or hope to have business or investments in China, the book could be of great value.
Thanks for your work Ms Chen,
Publisher: Union Square Press 2008
This is an account of a family spanning over 150 years from three generations. Grandpa Chen Guixing (baptized as Joseph) of Hakka clan is from Guangdong. He unsuccessfully fought for a Christianity inspired peasant uprising during the Taiping Rebellion in 1852. In Huzhou, Jiangsu the rebels lost city after city. Ah Chen had a leg amputated and fled to Hong Kong plotting a return. With Hong Kong police looking out for him. Many supporters of the rebellion fled China to avoid persecution. Many left for South East Asia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Java. Some went to Hawaii, Caribbean islands for opportunities. Chen Guixing being too poor to pay for passage, he signed a labor contract to migrate to Jamaica. He met a Cantonese lady Marie Longchallon (Luong) and married her at Fort de France in Martinique in 1875. Later they moved to Trinidad in 1877.
Trinidad was a British colony and they all took English baptized names. Eugene (1878-1944), Joseph Leon, Lionel David, Bernadine, Ronald, and Alfred Bruno are names of their six children.
Eugene became a prominent lawyer in Trinidad. He married a French Creole. Alphonsine Agatha Gantheaume (aka Aisy) in 1899. From Trinidad they went to London around 1903 and connected with many young Chinese overseas community leaders. Shortly after the 1911 Chinese revolution he decided to try his career in Peking and took on an English newspaper editor's position with Peking Gazette. Sun Yat-sen, a revolutionary was educated in Hawaii. He attended the same school as President Barat Obama at Loani School. Eugene and Sun have similar training and many things in common.Read more ›