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  A Memoir of Famine and War in Revolutionary China

  David Chang, with Alden Carter, has written an autobiography that is remarkable and touching for its personal insight. It skillfully integrates historical and political events in China and Taiwan with the life of a remarkable man. Most of all, it's a good read.
 --Thomas J. Bellows, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio

    This remarkable memoir of a Chinese boyhood brings alive David Wen-wei Chang's childhood in a small village in North China and his family's trials during a 1930's famine and recounts how their lives were torn apart in the struggle between the Chinese Communists and the Nationalists. Throughout, David's love of family, home, and learning will delight the reader.
--David D. Buck, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

    This is the gentle, touching story of a traditional Chinese family whose lives were shattered by war and revolution. Chang (political science, emeritus, Univ. of Wisconsin, Oshkosh) tells of constant struggle; of struggling to stay alive through famine, poverty, and being the youngest child (b. 1929), struggling through the traditional Chinese educational system and then war, revolution, and the Communist takeover, struggling to adapt to a new life in Taiwan and the United States, and finally struggling with the reality of returning to China and the family he left behind. Some readers might be put off by Chang's often apologetic and forgiving nature toward those who hurt him (ranging from an abusive father who beat his mother and tried to smother him as a child to friends who spied on him and his family for the Communists), but others will see that his choices are clearly the product of a traditional Confucian background. Luckily, Chang's positive attitude gives the book its heart. Recommended for general readers in history as well as memoir.—Melissa Aho, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis
--School Library Journal

    The Scholar and the Tiger is at once a compelling family saga, thriller, social history, and spiritual journey. Written by a leading China scholar in partnership with a noted author, the story brings to life some of the darkest pages in twentieth-century history while providing surprising insights into the China of today as an emerging superpower and America’s principal global rival.

   David Wen-wei Chang was born in Zhou-Bien village, Shaanxi Province, in 1929 as famine gripped northern China, taking the lives of countless peasants, including his father. Only the superhuman efforts of his iron-willed mother kept the family alive. The eldest son, Wen-po, joined the army. Eighteen years Wen-wei’s senior, Wen-po fought bandits, opium smugglers, the Japanese, and Mao’s Communists, becoming known as “Tiger Chang.”

 Meanwhile, Wen-wei—a brilliant scholar from childhood—seemed destined for a career in the age-old mandarin tradition of civil service. But war intervened, forcing him to evacuate his ill mother and two sisters-in-law and their children only days before the Communist assault on Beijing. In Shanghai, they were reunited with Wen-po, now a leading Guomindang general who commanded the city’s final defenses. Wen-wei refused evacuation to Taiwan, insisting on caring for his mother and making the best life he could under the Communists. But a day after the occupation of the city, a terrified friend told Wen-wei that Wen-po had been left behind and was hiding in the friend’s apartment, putting all of their lives at risk.

    What follows has all the drama of a spy novel: narrow escapes and rescues, treachery and blackmail, and a final wrenching irony that would tear Wen-wei from his family and homeland. Only after thirty years in America, with a new life as university professor David Chang, is he allowed to return to China to learn the fate of his mother and loved ones—and perhaps to heal his broken heart.

From Rowman & Littlefield

The Scholar and the Tiger:
a Memoir of Famine and War in Revolutionary China

ISBN: 978-0-7425-5761-1

Electronic 0-7425-5763-4 / 978-0-7425-5763-5


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