TURNCOAT by Morris R. & J. Robert Moskin Wills


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Morris Wills was one of the twenty-one American G.I.'s who chose China after the Korean War. He had been a POW in North Korea for over two years. A farm boy from Adirondack country, a loner, Wills says, ""I have always been stubborn: I thought about past grievances and the fact that I had been left there to rot."" His Chinese captors were increasingly friendly as the brainwashing took and portrayed a life of equality and plenty in China. In the self-criticism sessions following his entry to China, they characterized him as taking the bird in hand instead of trying for two in the bush. His disenchantment was essentially personal: when he wanted to marry a Chinese girl, she was whisked away and he fought to get her back. Ultimately he had outlived his usefulness propagandawise (but not before he met Chou-en-lai) and was demoted to the lowest form of address, ""Mister."" Wills tells all this with surprising, almost unaware candor, also describes life in China during the twelve years he was there. He hopes his story will help other G.I.'s resist. However the book is essentially a self-portrait of a defector with primary interest as case history.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1968
Publisher: Prentice-Hall