Light on China is a series of English language books on China. Recently launched in Beijing, the series carries first-hand, eyewitness accounts of the huge transformation in China over the 100 years or so leading up to the time of liberation.
Jointly published by the Foreign Languages Press and the China Society for People's Friendship Studies, the series consist of some 50 books on China by foreign friends, observers and journalists. There are historical records, autobiographies, diaries and news reports. Some are works that have been out of print for decades and are now being brought back to life. Others are being made available to Chinese readers for the first time.
"Light on China can help young people and students at home and abroad gain an overview of what went before, is happening now, and will emerge in the future. It is a bridge of international friendship and understanding," says Huang Hua in the preface to the series. Huang headed the China Society for People's Friendship Studies for many years.
The hundred years or so from the 1850s through to the birth of the People's Republic of China in 1949 was truly a time of great historical change. The series brings together first hand accounts of these times recorded by foreigners who witnessed the historical events as they unfolded. They are valuable historical records.
They tell of the huge social transformations in that momentous 100-year period from a number of varied perspectives. They embrace all aspects of society ranging from politics and economics, military and cultural matters to the ordinary daily lives and thoughts of Chinese people.
These is a sense of wonder and admiration in those works in which the authors portray the Chinese revolutionary leaders and their genuine comradeship with their troops. Light on China chronicles the awakening, struggle and eventual victory of the Chinese people.
Light on China includes important works by celebrated international friends such as Agnes Smedley, Rewi Alley, Israel Epstein and Helen Snow. One book in particular, TI-PING TIEN-KWOH: The History of the TI-PING Revolution by Augustus Frederick Lindley, serves as a significant historical record for the study of Chinese society in the 1800s as well as the rise and fall of the TI-PING. The book was the first of its kind to be written by a foreigner.
Dating from the days of World War II, Lost Chance in China a famous report by John Stewart Service and The Stilwell Papers by General Joseph W. Stilwell have long been considered rare and authoritative sources providing objective views of China's civil war.
It's well worth mentioning that the publication of the series has enjoyed support from leading figures in China. Former Premier Zhu Rongji readily responded to the material needs of the project when it was brought to his attention. Veteran revolutionary Huang Hua, State Councilor Chen Zhili and that long-standing friend of China Israel Epstein, have all acted as honorary advisors to Light on China.
In 2003 Light on China published:
1. TI-PING TIEN-KWOH: The History of the TI-PING Revolution / Lindley, Augustus Frederick
2. China Shakes the World / Belden, Jack
3. The Unfinished Revolution in China / Epstein, Israel
4. Chinese Destinies / Smedley, Agnes
5. Good Deeds and Gunboats / Deane, Hugh
6. A China Childhood / Pruitt, Ida
7. First Act in China: The Story of the Sian Mutiny / Bertram, James
8. Battle Hymn of China / Smedley, Agnes
9. China Fights Back / Smedley, Agnes
10. Twin Stars of China / Carlson, Evans F.
11. The Unknown War: North China 1937-1945 / Lindsay, Michael
12. The People's War / Epstein, Israel
13. The People's Doctor, George Hatem & China's Revolution / Porter, Edgar. A.
14. Call of Yanan (Story of the Indian Medical Mission to China 1938-43) / Dr. B K Basu
15. Aid China / Clegg, Arthur
16. The Stilwell Papers / Stilwell, Joseph W.
17. I Visit Yenan / Epstein, Israel
18. The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh / Smedley, Agnes
19. From Vagabond to Journalist: Edgar Snow in Asia 1928-1941 / Farnsworth, Robert M.
20. Rewi Alley: An Autobiography / Alley, Rewi
21. My Fist Sixty Years in China / Ginsbourg, Sam
22. China's Millions / Strong, Anna Louise
23. The Chinese Conquer China / Strong, Anna Louise
24. When Serfs Stood Up in Tibet / Strong, Anna Louise
25. Inside China Today / Dimond, E. Grey
26 Ten Mile Inn: Mass Movement in a Chinese Village / Crook, Isabel & David
In 2004 Light on China plans to publish:
1. On Her Own / Bennett, Milly
2. From Opium War to Liberation / Epstein, Israel
3. A Memoir of China in Revolution / Ronning, Chester
4. A Daughter of Han / Pruitt, Ida
5. Women in Modern China / Snow, Helen Foster
6. Portraits of Chinese Women in Revolution / Smedley, Agnes
7. Evans F. Carlson on China at War, 1937-1941 / Deane, Hugh (Edited by)
8. North China Front / Bertram, James
9. Two Kinds of Times / Peck, Graham
10. Yo Ban Fa / Alley, Rewi
11. China Builds for Democracy: A Story of Cooperative Industry / Wales, Nym
12. I See a New China / Hogg, George
13. The Scalpel, the Sword / Allen, Ted & Gordon, Sidney
14. Dr. Bethune's Angel: The Life of Kathleen Hall / Newnham, Tom
15. Ma Haide – The Saga of American Doctor George Hatem in China / Shapiro, Sidney
16. The Spirit of Yenan: A Wartime Chapter of Sino-American Friendship / Colling, John
17. Woman in World History: Life and Times of Soong Ching Ling (Mme. Sun Yat-sen) / Epstein, Israel
18. My China Years / Snow, Helen Foster
19. James G. Endicott: Rebel out of China / Endicott, Stephen
20. Assignment China / Schuman, Julian
21. Tibet Transformed / Epstein, Israel
22. Return to China – Thirty Years After / Snow, Helen Foster
23. Return to China / Bertram, James
24. Inside Red China / Wales, Nym (Snow, Hen Foster)
25. John Stewart Service – Lost Chance in China / Esherick, Joseph W. (Edited by)
26. New China: Friend of Foe / Falconer, Alun
27. Remembering Koji Ariyoshi: An American GI in Yanan / Deane, Hugh (Edited by)
(China.org.cn by Guo Xiaohong January 12, 2004)