New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. First Edition (presumed), First Printing. Hardcover. Used - Good/Very Good. Black cloth boards with silver lettering to spine. Some wear to head/tail of spine. Slight spine slant. Light foxing to edges and endpapers. Clean and unmarked. Binding tight. Endnotes. Bibliography. Index. B/W plates. 16 x 24 cm. 477 pp. / Good. Some wear to edges. Crease to spine. Adhesive residue/damage to back cover. Item #10244
On Christmas Day 1941 the Japanese captured Hong Kong, and Britain lost control of its Chinese colony for almost four years. The Japanese occupation was a turning point in the slow historical process by which the British were to be expelled from the colony and from four centuries of influence in East Asia. In this powerfully researched narrative, Philip Snow for the first time unravels the dramatic story of the occupation from the viewpoint of all the key players—the Hong Kong Chinese, the British, the Japanese, and the mainland Chinese—and reinterprets the subsequent evolution of Hong Kong in the light of this half-buried episode.
Drawing on an unprecedented range of sources across continents and across languages, Snow reveals what really happened: the widespread desertion of the British by Chinese personnel during the invasion; the acquiescence of the Asian upper class in the Japanese takeover; the vicious cruelty of the Japanese conquerors towards the Chinese masses; and the post-war British decision to draw a veil over the occupation’s murkier aspects. Now, with Hong Kong returned to the Chinese and its future closely tied to the commercial influence of Japan: the colony’s wartime nemesis may hold the key to its survival in the twenty-first century.
Philip Snow is an orientalist educated at Oxford University. The son of the writers C. P. Snow and Pamela Hansford Johnson, he is author of the acclaimed The Star Raft: China’s Encounter with Africa.
A selection of the History Book Club.