Season of High Adventure: Edgar Snow in China

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University of California Press, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
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In 1928, Edgar Snow (1905-1972) set out to see the world, hoping to make his mark as a travel-adventure writer. Shanghai was to be a mere stopover, but Snow stayed on in China for thirteen more years. The idealistic young Midwesterner became a journalist and ultimately developed close friendships with China's emerging revolutionary leaders. His 1938 classic, Red Star over China, strongly influenced American views of the Chinese Communists and is still in print nearly sixty years later.
This biography breaks fresh ground with its unique and extensive use of Snow's diaries of over forty years. These writings convey Snow's private hopes and fears, his moods and motivations. Thomas skillfully links them with Snow's public writings and deeds. By recreating the milieu in which Snow worked in China, Thomas provides a clearer understanding of both the man and his times.
Snow came to China devoid of any political agenda or sinological background. He returned home a politically astute China hand and famed journalist-author. His writing had taken on the nature of political action, which resulted in troubled soul-searching that Snow usually confined to his diary. Thomas's portrait of Ed Snow reveals a man caught up in an important historical moment, a man who profoundly influenced, and was influenced by, the events that swirled around him. In 1928, Edgar Snow (1905-1972) set out to see the world, hoping to make his mark as a travel-adventure writer. Shanghai was to be a mere stopover, but Snow stayed on in China for thirteen more years. The idealistic young Midwesterner became a journalist and ultimately developed close friendships with China's emerging revolutionary leaders. His 1938 classic, Red Star over China, strongly influenced American views of the Chinese Communists and is still in print nearly sixty years later.
This biography breaks fresh ground with its unique and extensive use of Snow's diaries of over forty years. These writings convey Snow's private hopes and fears, his moods and motivations. Thomas skillfully links them with Snow's public writings and deeds. By recreating the milieu in which Snow worked in China, Thomas provides a clearer understanding of both the man and his times.
Snow came to China devoid of any political agenda or sinological background. He returned home a politically astute China hand and famed journalist-author. His writing had taken on the nature of political action, which resulted in troubled soul-searching that Snow usually confined to his diary. Thomas's portrait of Ed Snow reveals a man caught up in an important historical moment, a man who profoundly influenced, and was influenced by, the events that swirled around him.

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About the author (1996)

S. Bernard Thomas is Professor Emeritus of History at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and is the author of Labor and the Chinese Revolution (1983).

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