Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Beware the Dragon by Erik Durschmied

This book's full title is "Beware the Dragon, China: 1,000 Years of Bloodshed". I found this book quite fascinating to read. I also found it very easy to read. The book starts in 1218, so it does not quite cover 1,000 years. Also, Durschmied starts the book off with the attacks on Europe by the Mongols. The Mongols were not Chinese and they did not control China until after the first attacks in Europe happened.

After the Mongols attacks on Europe and the Middle East, he goes on to talk about the advantage Europeans took of China after they discovered it. This was hardly China's fault. The next was about Japan's conquest of China. He does go on to talk about China's conquest of Tibet and there certainly China was awful and still suppresses the Tibetan people.

He also covers the USSR and China relationship, including the Chinese attack on the USSR at their mutual border supposedly over an island in the Ussuri River. He also relates China's effort to contact and make diplomatic relations with the US in 1971. He does cover a fair bit of ground in his book.

I know from reading history that China was not well liked by the peoples of around them, especially South East Asia when China was powerful. However, this was not much different that the South American's attitude to America.

There is a great book review in 2008, which this book was written, in the Guardian by John Gittings. He reviews not only this book but a number of "Dragon" books written in 2008 just before the China Olympics. Telegraph by Nicholas Shakespeare is a critical review of this book. I must admit I found the book interesting and easy to read, but I understand his criticism.

Erick has an entry in Wikipedia. There is not much in the way of videos for Durschmied. However, there is a TVO film of "Finding Fidel: The Journey of Erik Durschmied" he started his extraordinary career by interviewing a young Fidel Castro on the eve of the Cuban revolution.

On my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it. See Durschmied. Also, this book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Book Reviews.

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