The Decadent Thirties — Celebrities, Gangsters and the Ladies of the Press

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 Decadent Thirties — Celebrities, Gangsters and the Ladies of the Press

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Peter Fleming, who combined features and political reportage with travel writing, stands out as the most worthy of note. He was accompanied by Ella Maillart and they travelled 3,500-miles from Beijing to India via Turkestan, along with a Mr. Yao of the China Central News Agency. They also undertook the journey without the knowledge of the Chinese government which was not keen on issuing passes for foreigners to travel in the disputed and chaotic region. The ladies of the press and Shanghai's gangster no. 1 are described. Of all the women to join the China press corps, perhaps none was as notorious as Emily “Mickey” Hahn. She had two monkeys: the monkey on her back that was her opium addiction and the monkey on her shoulder that was Mr. Mills (technically a gibbon and therefore an ape, Mickey would castigate anyone who insulted him by calling him a mere monkey). In addition, the revolving doors of the China Press are reviewed. The two greatest exponents of cartoons in Shanghai press were Sapajou and Schiff.

Keywords: Peter Fleming; Ella Maillart; Mickey Hahn; China press corps; Mr. Mills; China Press; Sapajou; Schiff

Chapter.  9851 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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