The Roaring Twenties — Substituting Action for Talk

Paul French

in Through the Looking Glass

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9789622099821
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207622 | DOI:
The Roaring Twenties — Substituting Action for Talk

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On 4 May 1919, angered at the betrayal and fired up with a justified nationalist fervour, radicalised students staged large-scale demonstrations across China. These were the first mass protests in modern Chinese history and in many ways set the hallmark for the 1920s as a decade of domestic protest and internal unrest — what became known as the May Fourth Movement. This Movement was to usher in a new and chaotic decade in China's history and also a new crop of reporters, correspondents and writers. It is noted that the old guard was depleted. Arthur Ransome coined the term “Shanghai mind” and referred to the International Settlement as a “hermetically sealed glass case”. This notion of the treaty ports seeing things slightly differently was not totally new. The revolutionaries with typewriters are described. It is explained how the China press corps was about to become even more multi-layered, complicated, and cosmopolitan in the most tumultuous decade of the twentieth century.

Keywords: China; mass protests; Chinese history; May Fourth Movement; Arthur Ransome; Shanghai mind; China press corps

Chapter.  10867 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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