A book tells how modern Shanghai was shaped, “The Last Kings of Shanghai”, has been one of my readings in the lockdown. How it was shaped? probably many different explanations on how and by whom, we wouldn’t find any answers boring anyway.
This book is more than just entertaining. Through rich investigation, the author tells the story how two Jewish families the Sassons and the Kadoories (Kelly) transformed Shanghai into an international cosmopolitan before mid 20th century. buzzling with glamour. With ‘go get’ attitude, the Sassons and the Kadoories pioneered the foreigners in their era to bring industrious mentality into the city. If you are fascinated by the dynamic culture uniquely in Shanghai, or why it’s named as the capital of “international architecture”, or just interested in those buildings on the Bund. The book presents intriguing picture how the city was initially formed by location and how it’s shaped with the influencers then. Not surprisingly Shanghai is the most pro western city in China. Half a century later, still plenty of literatures and films dotted the fondness for that period, such as the book Peace Hotel (aka Cathay Hotel ).
Interesting books take us afar and away. Back to the reality, whilst we are still adjusting limited travelling for the time being, for the remaining half of year 2020, I feel this book gives me the comfort in my ‘comfort zone’!
Always get prepared before your planning and travelling, so much to do!