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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Reprint Edition, 1945. No dust jacket. Cover shows moderate wear and corners bumped; bookplate on pastedown; otherwise in good condition. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding tight. Fast shipping. Free tracking/delivery confirmation.
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Shark's fins and millet Hardcover – 1945

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 331 pages
  • Publisher: Garden City Pub. Co; First Edition, First Thus edition (1945)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007J0JAU
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,403,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daily Reckoning on June 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I recently picked up a copy of Shark's Fins and Millet, written by Ilona Ralf Sues, a journalist who traveled to China in the late 1930s. She published the book in 1944.

Sues' book is a boots-on-the-ground look at China as Sues traveled it - Canton (now Guangzhou), Shanghai, Nanjing, Hankou, Shanxi and Yan'an. In her words, the book: is neither a study, nor a travelogue, nor a political treatise. It is a medley of everything, as unorthodox as life itself - an unconventional set of stories and anecdotes - a series of big and small events, of great and little people observed, not through a high-powered microscope, but with the imperfect, naked, sympathetic, twinkling human eye.

Sues had quite a trip. She met with a wide range of characters. One of them was Tu Yueh-Sen, also known as "Big-Eared Du," a powerful crime boss in Shanghai who financed opium production in China. She plied all the trades of the gangster - prostitution, gambling, blackmail, smuggling and more. Her interview with Tu is a historically important part of the book and a rare look at one of Shanghai's most important figures. Her descriptions of him - of his "bony hand with 2-inches-long, brown, opium-stained claws" - are also memorable.

Tu's may have been an early prototype of later Asian fortunes. When Shanghai got too hot, Tu legged it to Hong Kong.

(Joe Studwell explores the unsavory roots of some of Asia's tycoons in his new book, Asian Godfathers. Many such fortunes arose from the smuggling and corruption that thrived after World War II. "Much of this activity focused on Singapore and Hong Kong," he writes.)

Sues also met with Madame Chiang Kai-shek, as Sues calls her. The West was still enamored with Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang - which eventually fled to Taiwan.
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