Rules of the Game

On September 18, 1931, a very small bomb caused a very minor explosion on the South Manchurian Railway just north of Mukden, a railway controlled by the Japanese and crucial to their economic domination of Manchuria. The explosion was denounced as the work of Chinese saboteurs. Two railway sleepers, half …

A Shameful Tale

On the contents page of the latest issue of Foreign Affairs[^1] the new shape of American diplomacy is writ large and in italics. In this prestigious house organ of the international affairs establishment—and by coincidence it happens to be its fiftieth anniversary issue—the subject of China comes close to the …

Bringing Up the Red Guards

Revolutionaries are Monkey Kings, their golden rods are powerful, their supernatural powers far-reaching and their magic omnipotent, for they possess Mao Tsetung’s great invincible thought. We wield our golden rods, display our supernatural powers and use our magic to turn the old world upside down, smash it to pieces, pulverize …

Peanuts and the Good Soldier

In 1927, the province of Shantung was under the control of the warlord Chang Tsung-chang, a ferocious excoolie with a taste for white mercenaries and white women. His forces included a Russian brigade with four armored trains; he himself went to war with a trainload of forty-two concubines, of whom …