INSIDE ASIA by John Gunther
Kirkus Star


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It would not need the record of Inside Europe to give this first place and tops among MUST BOOKS. Having read it with zest and absorbed interest, I cannot see how any person who wishes to consider himself (or herself) well-informed on world affairs could fail to put this at the top of his personal list of books that must be read -- and rate it as one of the few books ""to be chewed and digested."" Gunther has succeeded in laying the groundwork for clearer understanding of the great enigma that is Asia; he has provided a springboard for comprehension of what is happening and what is going to happen. He has shown us Japan on the march; China in rebirth; India struggling for education, freedom from religious strictures, modern ways of thought and political independence. He has given us a picture of those other countries of Asia, which we are inclined to dismiss summarily through sheer ignorance of their place in the modern scheme. He has indicated basic trends, -- imperialism rampant, religious bondage still to be defeated, poverty beyond anything in the rest of the world, nationalism on the move, democracy in birth, the family system in force, personality at the helm, a strange absence of awareness of the social struggle, incompetence in executives and underlings, and a growing conviction that he is right in maintaining that Pan-Asia is an illusion. The book is one that should be read slowly and carefully. It is not as easy reading as Inside Europe; the names and conditions are unfamiliar and complex. But once again he has given us a penetrating study of personalities, livened his story with drama, color and humanity, woven his fabric so closely that one thing fits snugly into the next. He has clarified as far as seems possible for an Occidental, the characters of Gandhi, of Ibn Saud, of Rez Pahlevi, of Quezon, of Chiang Kai-shek and others. And, with all its complexities, he has made it grand reading. A book for an immediate sale and for the long haul. Backed by extensive promotion and advertising.

Pub Date: June 8th, 1939
ISBN: 1931541094
Publisher: Harper