Sun Yat-sen Critical Context - Essay

Grace Yaukey

Critical Context

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Spencer has written several books about China, including Three Sisters: The Story of the Soong Family of China (1939), Made in China: The Story of China’s Expres-sion (1943), The Land of the Chinese People (1951), and Ancient China (1964). Besides being an authority on Chinese history, she is an expert in writing biographies for young adult readers. Spencer has published books about Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Filipino diplomat Carlos P. Romulo, Chinese general Chiang Kaishek, and writer Pearl S. Buck.

Spencer’s biography of Sun Yat-sen is one of the best biographies about Asian revolutionary leaders for juvenile readers. Since its publication in 1967, the book has been well received. After the Chinese democracy movement in the late 1980’s, this biography gained new significance, as Sun Yat-sen represents an idea of democracy loved by the Chinese people. To some extent Sun Yat-sen has become a symbol of unification between Mainland China and Taiwan. Therefore, in order to understand the Chinese people, the Chinese revolution at the beginning of the twentieth century, and China’s future, it is essential to know Sun Yat-sen’s life and thoughts. Spencer’s book is suitable for secondary school reading in the areas of history and literature, especially in a discussion of the confrontation between East and West.