Robert Bickers, who many will know from his excellent contribution to the Penguin (China) World War One Special Editions with Getting Stuck in For Shanghai: Putting the Kibosh on the Kaiser from the Bund: The British at Shanghai and the Great War, has written a new book, Out of China, officially published on 30 March: earlier copies will be available at the events below.
Out of China narrates the struggle of China’s peoples across the twentieth century to roll back foreign power, and explores the explosive legacy today of the era of foreign domination. Starting in 1918 it charts the decline, fall and afterlife of the foreign enclaves that had been established in many of China’s great cities (as well as in some quite out-of-the-way backwaters). It shows how the battle to restore China’s dignity and sovereignty took place on battlefields, and in conference chambers, but also in museums and galleries, in Hollywood, in print, and on stage. Out of China is concerned with struggles over ideas, and political power, but I also draw out the human dimension, and the stories of those caught up by design or chance in this now largely vanished world. The battle for China was not over even when the last foreign colony, Macao, was handed back in 1999, and tensions over the record of foreign powers in China, and over the wider legacy and impact of the West remain live today.
Robert Bickers will be talking about the book at the following events.
11 March: Glasgow Aye Write! 2017, Mitchell Library, 4.45-5.45 p.m.
13 March: SOAS China Institute, Russell Square, Room G3, 5.00-7.00 p.m.
27 June: Chalke Valley History Festival, afternoon.