Publication Date: 27/01/2022 ISBN: 9781350278097 Category:

The China Journals

Hugh Trevor-Roper, Richard Davenport-Hines

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 27/01/2022 ISBN: 9781350278097 Category:
Paperback / Softback




These private journals, made available here for the first time, record Hugh Trevor-Roper’s visit to the People’s Republic of China in the autumn of 1965, shortly before the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution, and describe the controversial aftermath of his journey on his return to England.

The visit was a catalogue of frustrations, which he relates with the verve and irony of a master narrator who relished the human comedy. His efforts to meet the real life and mind of China, in whose history and politics he had long been interested, were blocked at every turn by the resources of state propaganda and the claustrophobic attention of sullen Party guides. The visit was arranged by the London-based Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding, which was ostensibly committed to the impartial interchange of culture and ideas. It proved to be run by a Communist claque whose ruthless methods of control outwitted the well-connected membership.

Back in England, and with help from MI5, he resolved to get to the bottom of the society’s affairs. His investigations provoked a tumultuous public row which Trevor-Roper, no shirker of controversy, zestfully traces in these pages. Through the book, which closes with an account of his visit to Taiwan and South-East Asia in 1967, there runs the wisdom of historical perspective that he brought to contemporary events and his lifelong commitment to the defence of liberal values and practices against their ideological adversaries.

Publisher Review

Enjoyable for the human comedy and high quality of Trevor-Roper's prose. * The Spectator * Expertly edited, with touches of wit, but with pathos, too... The China Journals is a book as suitable for relishing Trevor-Roper's bitchy brilliance as it is for its fascinating insight into a China about to change forever. * History Today * Scholarly, incisive and omniscient, Davenport-Hines has done another wonderful job ... Consistently entertaining. * Literary Review * These diaries are as much about the forgotten world of Britain's intellectual and academic elite in the Cold Wars as they are about China. They offer unusual light on the cultural Cold War underway in the West between fellow travellers of the Communist regimes, then apparently on the rise, and Western anti-Communists of various strains. * The Oldie *

Find this book on the following lists

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible