Interesting history – Shanghai: The Rise and Fall of a Decadent City 1842-1949

This book would be interesting for a reader looking for a rollicking and layman history of Shanghai from 1842 (the year when Shanghai was forced by the British Empire to be opened to foreign trade as a treaty port after the British Empire exacted revenge for the Ching dynasty’s action to clamp down on the infamous opium trade carried out by the British) to 1949 ( the year when Shanghai fell to Mao Tee Tung).

Stella has covered the ground well. Her writing is easy to read. Her anecdotes are interesting. But if a reader wishes to follow up on them, unfortunately, no endnotes are provided.

A reader looking for a more scholarly treatment of Shanghai’s history will have to look elsewhere. If one is interested in how Shanghailanders lived during the war years under Japanese Occupation one can refer to In the Shadow of the rising sun: Shanghai under Japanese occupation by Christian Henriot (editor), Wen-Hsin yeh (editor)First edition (March 19, 2009). If one is interested in how life was like in the International Settlement in Shanghai from 1919 to 1939, one can read Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai by Robert Bickers. This is an interesting biography of Richard Maurice Tinkler, a British man who lived there from 1919 to 1939. But it is much more than a biography. It described life in Shanghai in detailed.

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