Chungking Dialogues.by Lin Mousheng

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  • Chungking Dialogues. by Lin MoushengReview by: Meribeth E. CameronThe Far Eastern Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Feb., 1946), pp. 236-237Published by: Association for Asian StudiesStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2049755 .Accessed: 15/06/2014 16:16

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  • 23 6 THE FAR EASTERN QUARTERLY

    leads on easily and logically to the next, as in the case of a carefully plotted and well integrated novel. Not one chapter is confused or confusing. To whet the curiosity of potentially "choosy" readers, it may be remarked that the chapters dealing with the generalissimo, the guerrillas, the communists, the Chinese soldier, arms and politics, hoarders and profiteers, China's business men, the new countryside, inflation-and the basic reasons therefor -and China's relations with Russia, Great Britain, and the United States, are outstandingly good.

    Incidentally, after the spate of sloppy books put out supposedly in con- formance to government regulations, it is a relief to handle so pleasing a specimen of the bookmaker's art as is China's crisis.

    HARLEY FARNSWORTH MACNAIR- The University of Chicago

    Chungking dialogues. By LIN MOUSHENG. New York: John Day Company, 1945. x, 149 p. $2.00. Lin Mousheng says in the foreword to Chungkung dialogues that he has

    always been in the habit of talking to himself. In this book he personifies his various selves who have so long been in debate with each other, and lets them discuss contemporary Chinese problems in very lively style. The protagonists in the dialogues are a Confucian philosopher, "a moral man . . . more wise than witty," who organizes the discussions; a social scientist, determinedly objective and unemotional; a veteran judge, incarnation of the conservative view; a college senior, "the epitome of adolescent radicalism"; and a girl of twenty, a telephone operator who represents the common sense of the Chinese people. The group has ten evenings of good talk, covering everything from Confucianism to communism and from education to war. In comparison with the actual discussions of these topics which are going on everywhere in China today, Lin's imaginary debates have a certain unavoid- able artificiality. The participants in the dialogues are types. They ask just those questions and make just those comments which will keep the conversa- tional ball rolling. Here and there sizeable sections of expository material have to be introduced, chiefly in the guise of information for the telephone girl, who professes to need the facts which the others already have. The questions under discussion are the essential ones of China's present and fu- ture, but the arguments are gentlemanly ones, with blank cartridges and buttoned foils. That the real disputants in China-nationalists and commu- nists, landlords, and peasants, conservatives and iconoclasts-can as gracefully compose their differences is to be hoped for, but not assured. But Lin's dia- logues with himself give indication that there is at least one Chinese-and there are in all likelihood many more-who possesses to a high degree the

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  • BOOK REVIEWS 237

    spirit of compromise and adjustment and warm reasonableness which may find solutions without violent clash or harsh suppression. The book shows a philosophic outlook, broad learning and an attractive literary style. Anyone who wants an exceedingly readable introduction to China's traditions, recent social changes and current difficulties will find Chungking dialogues worth reading.

    MERIBETH E. CAMERON Stanford University

    China after seven years of war. EDITED BY HOLLINGTON K. TONG. New York: Macmillan Company, 1945. 246 p. $2.00. In this symposium five young Chinese journalists and two American

    associates have well served the Chinese Ministry of Information and the general public. Making no pretense of having unearthed material which will be new to experts or contemporary residents of China, the authors have sought to explain to a wider audience the daily lot of the average man and woman in Free China after a long interval of war.

    Through the frequent use of case studies, giving the name and status of each citizen, Hawthorne Cheng and others present the problems and adjust- ments of this or that clerk, merchant, farmer, writer, student, teacher, or housewife through vicissitudes made more uncertain by bombings from Japanese planes and by the steady spread of financial inflation, which hangs like a pall over the economic and domestic life of the period. Both in specific treatment by Jean Lyon and also in other essays the plight and resourceful- ness of women receive detailed attention, whether unmarried office and factory workers or wives and mothers striving to maintain the integrity of the family. Life in Chungking rises through many chapters with a vividness bound to interest both those already familiar with that city and those who have known it not at all. Frank Tao traces the persistent effectiveness by which the Chinese have perpetuated education through migrations, coopera- tive campuses, and at least a serious attempt to recognize proper academic standards. The fullest factual information and nearest approaches to research and synthesis lie in Chu Fu-sung's description of Pishan, a typical small town of Szechwan, and in the same writer's discussion of wartime Chinese lit- erature, including the work of men like Lau Sheh (or Lau Shaw) whose Rickshaw boy, through English translation, has recently received wide circu- lation in the United States. Mr. Chu contributes also an optimistic survey of China's progress toward constitutional government. As may be imagined, the volume devotes little attention to the Chinese communists.

    Four concluding chapters deal chiefly with China's part in warfare, from aviation to jungle fighting; these include a eulogy of General Stilwell, and

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    Article Contentsp. 236p. 237

    Issue Table of ContentsThe Far Eastern Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Feb., 1946), pp. 113-256Front Matter [pp. ]Man and Resources in the Netherlands Indies [pp. 120-131]Tanah Sabrang and Java's Population Problem [pp. 132-142]Cross Currents of Culture in Indonesia [pp. 143-151]Some Proposals for Postwar Education in Indonesia [pp. 152-161]The Role of the Chinese in the Netherlands Indies [pp. 162-171]One View on the Position of the Eurasian in Indonesian Society [pp. 172-175]Labor Law and Legislation in the Netherlands Indies [pp. 176-188]The Development of Marine Resources in Indonesia [pp. 189-199]Japan's Blueprint for Indonesia [pp. 200-207]An Analysis of Nationalism in Southeast Asia [pp. 208-215]Obituary: H. H. Juynboll--N. J. Krom--Willem F. Stutterheim[pp. 216-218]Southeast Asia Institute [pp. 219-224]Book ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 225-226]Review: untitled [pp. 226-228]Review: untitled [pp. 228-230]Review: untitled [pp. 230-233]Review: untitled [pp. 233-234]Review: untitled [pp. 234-236]Review: untitled [pp. 236-237]Review: untitled [pp. 237-238]Review: untitled [pp. 238-240]Review: untitled [pp. 240-242]Book Notes [pp. 243-244]

    Notes and News [pp. 245-256]

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