Jack Jones, a True Friend to China: The Lost Writings of a Heroic Nobody

51bjcNLTNLL._SY496_BO1,204,203,200_Collected and edited by Andrew Hicks. Earnshaw Books, 2015. 370 pages. $50/paperback.

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This is an expensive book, and it’s obvious why: it is heavy, 370 pages plus appendices, printed on glossy paper in a large-ish format. Almost every page has photos. If you like to absorb a story through pictures, letters, and contemporary dispatches, this book will attract you. It deals with a unique time in history: China in the late 1940s, after decades of violence, suffering, and instability, right up until the Communists took final control. Jack Jones served in the (British) Friends Ambulance Unit, and his letters and newsletter articles were unknown until recently. In this collection we hear the descriptions and stories, as fresh as they would sound today from someone witnessing struggle and suffering unfolding in a faraway land.

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