Lester Knox Little kept a detailed journal of his time in China and Taiwan. Covering the years 1943 to 1954 it provides important new insights about some of the most dramatic episodes in China’s mid-twentieth century history: Sino-Japanese military and economic competition, China’s domestic political struggle between the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) and the Chinese Communist Party, and the post-war/Cold War balance of power in Southeast and East Asia. It also contains rich first-hand materials for understanding conditions in Chongqing and post-war Shanghai, the last years of the Republic of China on the Chinese mainland and its early years in Taiwan, and a new inner history of his beloved Chinese Maritime Customs Service.
Little’s account, with his insightful comments and explicit descriptions, provides us with a continuous record from the viewpoint of a capable American citizen in Chinese employ who felt responsible for his Chinese and foreign colleagues and for the modernisation of ‘Free China’, as well as allowing a unique insight into the heart of government during a time of intense social and political change. In addition to the original texts, this edition includes extensive explanatory notes providing detailed contextual information regarding the people and places mentioned.
Volume II: The Chinese Journals of L.K. Little, 1943-54