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Sun Yat-Sen and the Origins of the Chinese Revolution

Harold Schiffrin


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The enigmatic personal qualities that marked Sun Yat-sen during his lifetime have encouraged controversy concerning him ever since his death more than a generation ago. Mr. Schiffrin's book deals with the first forty years of Sun's life, and attempts to find the key to this controversial personality. His study is at once biography and history, for it goes beyond Sun to the whole texture of Chinese history of Sun's time. Drawing on diplomatic archives, police reports, personal interviews, contemporary newspapers, and other hitherto unused sources in Chinese, Japanese, and Western languages, the author reveals unsuspected facets of Sun's versatile plotting on three continents, and traces the convolutions of his pragmatic style in unprecedented detail.

University of California Press, 9780520017528, 434pp.

Publication Date: May 14, 2010

About the Author

Harold Zvi Schiffrin is Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies and Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the founder of East Asian studies in Israel.