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Through the Looking GlassChina's Foreign Journalists from Opium Wars to Mao$
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Paul French

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099821

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099821.001.0001

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Too Hot — China Fights for Its Life

Too Hot — China Fights for Its Life

(p.195) 9 Too Hot — China Fights for Its Life
Through the Looking Glass

Paul French

Hong Kong University Press

The number of foreign journalists who happened to be in the vicinity of central Shanghai when the bombs fell on Black Saturday, 14 August 1937, was incredible. After Black Saturday, things went from bad to worse. In addition, the situation was immediately bad for the foreign press corps: even getting to China could be problematic. As if the fighting to date had not been terrible enough with the slaughter in Shanghai, worse was to come as the Japanese army swarmed into Nanjing and, after defeating the Chinese army, went on an horrific and genocidal rampage through the city for six weeks in what swiftly became known as the “Rape of Nanking”. The Last Ditchers and Iconoclasts are outlined. Christopher Isherwood and Wystan Hugh Auden arrived in China as “amateur war correspondents”. It was not necessarily clear that they would sympathise with China's plight any more than some other foreign leftists had. Gung Ho Kids were the group gathered outside Shanghai in 1940 to avoid internment. By the end of 1941, most of the press corps had been forced to leave China, and others had been interned, tortured, or killed.

Keywords:   China, Rape of Nanking, Last Ditchers, Iconoclasts, Christopher Isherwood, Wystan Hugh Auden, Gung Ho Kids, Chinese army, Japanese army

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