SUN-YAT-SEN: Founder of the Chinese Republic by Cornelia Spencer

SUN-YAT-SEN: Founder of the Chinese Republic

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Cornelia Spencer draws upon her considerable background in Chinese history, and numerous written sources, for a thorough account of the effective revolutionary and naive administrator who is the national hero of China. Because she identifies with her subject, this is most effective during his younger, hopeful days, first as a student in Hawaii impressed by the orderliness and freedom (in contrast to the corruption and suppression in China) and drawn to Christianity by the example of his teachers, later as an agitator against the status quo and a revolutionary cutting off his queue to symbolize repudiation of the Manchus. Ten abortive attempts to overthrow the government followed, culminating in the deceptive success of the 1911 Revolution (with Sun as short-term President) and the failure of the Second Revolution: the focus on Sun's multiple movements during this period and the neglect of political, economic and social developments within China is detrimental to the reader's understanding of both success and failure. As Sun becomes more and more discouraged, the author tends to apologize for him, and finally to switch her allegiance to the up-and-coming Chiang. Despite these weaknesses-the failure to embody Sun's alleged magnetism is another--this is the fullest juvenile available, and it attempts to be fair, especially in regard to the Communist role; pending a broader, more detached documentation, it will fill an obvious void acceptably.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1967
Publisher: John Day