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Shanghai and Hong Kong: The Past and the Future of China
James Carter, Saint Joseph’s University; Jonathan Kaufman, Northeastern University

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Time Zone: America/Chicago
Local Time: Tuesday, July 14, 2020 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

“What’s past is prologue” is as apt a depiction of China as any other. The publication of two intersecting accounts of old Shanghai are not only entertaining but illuminate the present aspirations of China and Hong Kong.

In “The Last Kings of Shanghai,” Jonathan Kaufman tells the story of two dynastic Jewish families from Baghdad whose rivalry dominated Shanghai and China’s business and politics for 175 years until the Communist revolution in 1949. Kaufman says, “As the United States confronts China’s rise, and China grapples with the pressures of breakneck modernization and global power, the long-hidden odysseys of the Sassoons and the Kadoories hold a key to understanding the present moment.”

In James Carter’s book, “Champions Day: The End of Old Shanghai,” he chronicles a singular day in Japanese-occupied Shanghai a few weeks before the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. As Europeans and Chinese spectators cheered the Champions Day horse races and Shanghai buried China’s richest woman – the widow of a Sassoon family business associate - the seeds of revolution were also being sown. Carter has said that his travels in China revealed “a remarkably vibrant past that opened windows onto the ways that Chinese and western cultures had influenced one another to create something unique.”

Writer and historian Meredith Hindley will moderate this conversation with Kaufman and Carter.

James Carter, Ph.D. is a professor and chair of the of the history department at Saint Joseph’s University, where his research and teaching interests focus on the history of late-imperial and modern China. He received his B.A. from the University of Richmond, his M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University. In addition to his current book, he has published two other books on China and co-authored “Forging the Modern World: A History.”

Jonathan Kaufman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who has written and reported on China for thirty years for the Boston Globe, where he covered the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square. He served as China bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal and also reported for Bloomberg News. He is the author of two other books and is director of the School of Journalism at Northeastern University in Boston.

Purchase James Carter's book from Interabang »

Purchase Jonathan Kaufman's book from Interabang »

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