Sun Yat Sen and the Chinese Republic

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Read Books, 2008 - History - 424 pages
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SUN YAT SEN AND THE CHINESE REPUBLIC by PAUL LINEBARGER. FOREWORD: During the years 1901 to 1907, while the author was a circuit judge in the Philippines, he had in his service a very excellent Cantonese cook named Ah Po, whose attendance, during the sea voy ages from court to court, was indeed appreciated, especially during the trying period of cholera epidemics, when the preparation of the food was a vital matter. This sentiment of appreciation developed into real gratitude when, on the occa sion of a certain ship adventure, Ah Po saved the authors life. Encouraged by this gratitude, Ah Po eventu ally confided that he was one of Sun Yat Sens DaretoDies and that he wanted a substantial loan and leave of absence to return to China. These requests being granted, faithful Ah Po went his way, and only after long weeks overdue did he return, more dead than alive. The Impe rialists had caught him, put him on the torture rack, and finally thrown him out for dead. This brutality, together with Ah Pos direct informa the great Reformer, for so insurmountable was Suns modesty that he had given out no detailed information concerning himself, and particularly of his early life. After much persuasion, in the summer of 1919, Dr. Sun consented to give to the author the time necessary to prepare the story of his life, and, indeed, did devote many days with the author to the assembling of such ma terial. But, alas the modesty of the Chinese leader would always intervene at a crucial period ad because of his absolute silence upon dramatic situations, in which Dr. Sun was the central hero, it has been necessary to supplement the informa tion given by the Chinese leader by gleanings from many sources, particularly from among the few survivors of the oldest members of his fol lowing. To these is owing much of the matter which may, by some, be termed eulogistic. Because of the various sources from which the subjectmatter is drawn, it has been found diffi cult to organize the narration so that extraneous material, repetition, and heroworship should not affect the biographical data. Another difficulty was that the biographical data could not be com posed upon any Occidental pattern, for, among the Chinese, biographies are unknown as de manded by the man of the West. Still another difficulty was the coordinating of biographical data with information concerning China, for the average Occidental reader is not well informed concerning Chinese social or political life, and hence would not understand Suns life without having a collateral story of China told at the same time. Certain phases of Suns political activity would entail much more of an explanation than the limits of a popular volume would allow. It has been found necessary to cut the original manuscript down to less than half of its original composition. Reducing the size of the manuscript has exacted six complete revisions and rewritings, and the author hopes that at length he has given the Occidental at least something of an under standable picture of the Chinese Eeformer in the following episodic chapters.

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