For the privileged a cosmopolitan pleasure ground; For the desperate a port of last resort.
A pot of gold at the end of an Oriental rainbow; A thick slice of hell denounced from the pulpit.
The start of a journey for many; The end of the road for some.
A place to find fame, or to seek anonymity; Rogues, chancers, showgirls, criminals…
For so many people from so many lands, there was one phrase that sent a tingle of hope or a shiver of anticipation down every spine: “DESTINATION SHANGHAI”
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About the Author
Paul French is the author of the prize-winning Midnight in Peking and City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir. Both books became bestsellers and are now being adapted for TV. Paul lived in Shanghai for many years researching, writing and blogging about the city as it was between the world wars. His life-long obsession with old Shanghai and the foreigners who once lived in the most cosmopolitan of world cities has led to his researching many tales and life stories, some of which are gathered in Destination Shanghai.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Sojourners of an Interesting Sort 1) The Hunt for Eugene O’Neill: How America’s Most Famous Playwright Went to Shanghai, Fooled Everyone and had a High Old Time of It (1928) - Did He or Didn’t He? – Andre Malraux (1931) 2) Nearly Snubbed by Shanghai – Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford (1929) - The Collaborators – Marion, Don and Bert dream of a Nazi Shanghai (1941) 3) Louis L’Amour’s Shanghai Gestures (1933) - A Warm Welcome for Charlie Chan - Warner Oland (1936) 4) Two Poets Meet in Frenchtown - Langston Hughes and Irene West (1934) - From Warsaw to Shanghai to Hollywood – Lyda Roberti (1930s) 5) The Beast Comes to Shanghai – Aleister Crowley (1906) - A Dense, Rank, Richly Clotted Life – Aldous Huxley (1926) 6) The Zeitgeist Bookstore and Recruiting the Fifth Man – the Red Sojourners Agnes Smedley, Roger Hollis and Irene Weitemeyer (1929) - Nina Barsamova – The White Russian Movie Queen of Shanghai (1933) 7) Weimar Germany on the Huangpu – Lily Flohr Will be Flattered to See You (1941) - Florence Broadhurst Teaches Shanghai to Sing (1926) 8) Shanghai’s Most Charming Gangster – Ely “The Swiss” Widler’s Wild China Ride (1940) - A Showgirl, Bloody Saturday and the Shrapnel Swing - Terese Rudolph (1937) 10) CC Julian’s Last Refuge – How America’s Biggest Ever Swindler Ended Up in Shanghai (1934) Conclusion - Ye Shanghai