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The Last Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Jewish…
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The Last Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Jewish Dynasties That Helped Create… (udgave 2020)

af Jonathan Kaufman (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
561358,259 (4.13)Ingen
Medlem:zhoud2005
Titel:The Last Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Jewish Dynasties That Helped Create Modern China
Forfattere:Jonathan Kaufman (Forfatter)
Info:Viking (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 384 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****1/2
Nøgleord:read_2021, non-fiction, history, Books about China; Shanghai

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The Last Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Jewish Dynasties That Helped Create Modern China af Jonathan Kaufman

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This is a fascinating story, much of it new to me (a Jew who lived in China and is reasonably well read on both subjects and who travelled to Henan twice to visit and support the Kaifeng Jews.) As much as I loved learning more about these families, Kaufman's reporting choices and writing style did not really work for me.

I confess that straight ahead biography is not my favorite thing to read. A linear narrative - this happened, then this happened, then that happened - is not something I respond to. It feels like a textbook. I suspect readers who like traditional biography are likely to enjoy Kaufman' style more than I did. I missed having more context. I wish Kaufman had talked more about what was going on in China while the Sassons and Khadooris were building their empires before the final few pages. Its so important to understanding what brought the families down. He spends a lot of time stressing how pivotal was the choice to not criticize China even when it was killing them and their love for Chinese art and generosity to their Chinese servants (all important things), but doesn't talk much about how their choice to fiddle while Shanghai starved might have led to the virulence of the attacks on the family. I don't think the story can be understood without that, but again, maybe that is just me. Still super worthwhile reading. ( )
  Narshkite | Oct 21, 2020 |
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