Books

Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China

Tragedy and Splendor

Lexington Books, März 2012,
257 pages

Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China: Tragedy and Splendor

focuses on the many extraordinary contacts between East and West in China during the twentieth century. Through a collection of short biographies situated in the context of Chinese and Western history, it offers a panoramic view of China as experienced by many different persons of Jewish origins during their sojourn in the Middle Kingdom. The book offers a journey across vast reaches of space and back through time. Our impressions of visits to China have often been biased by sensational journalism, Hollywood films, and literary entertainment, which have distorted the reality of this vast country. Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China offers the reality of life in twentieth century China through the carefully researched biographies of a variety of typical and less typical Western visitors to the Middle Kingdom.

“ ……Matthias Messmer has compiled an extensive, admirable, and fascinating collection of vignettes of a displaced people surviving and living through the most tumultuous time in China’s history.”

Professor A. Tom Grunfeld, the State University of New York

“Hailing from Europe and elsewhere, there were merchants and journalists, physicians and writers, adventurers and communists, and refugees from Nazi Germany. They witnessed one of the most turbulent periods in Chinese history…… This is a superbly stimulating book.”

Professor Irene Eber, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem