Twenty years spent in China as a newspaper editor of The Shanghai Post and Mercury (and prior to that in sundry other capacities) has equipped Randall Gould to assess the situation in China competently. He has no illusions: he does not write from pre-defined bias; he understands and likes the Chinese but is not blind to their limitations, though he is tolerant and understanding of their compromises with modernity. I found the book packed with information of immediate importance and interest -- and not readily accessible elsewhere: -- data on the extent to which industrial and agricultural development had gone, relative figures on conditions in different parts of China, the collapse of the labor movement, the relation of China to surrounding countries and peoples and Chinese business and banking penetration, the Chinese military potential, missions and missionaries, and specific evidence of the multiplicity of ways in which ""Uncle Sam"" was taken for a ride by the Chinese. There's a good deal of fact behind the personality problems of Stilwell, Chennault, etc. And there's a clarification of much that is confusing in the relation of Kuomintang to the minorities, particularly the one powerful, armed minority, the Communists. An important book, but difficult for steady reading, with multiplicity of names and assumption of knowledge. But don't overlook it.