- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Abacus (Jan. 6 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0349104999
- ISBN-13: 978-0349104997
- Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 2.2 x 13 cm
- Shipping Weight: 259 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,111,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Tales from the South China Seas Paperback – Jan 6 1994
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About the Author
Charles Allen is an oral and military historian specialising in colonial matters. He is the author of several previous books and lives in north London.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The power of the magic of the South China Seas, that truly casts its spell on those of us who worked or lived there is from the peoples of those fragrant, busy and charming lands. Charles Allen makes the point in his introduction - "several races drawn to the same watery crossroads principally by the lure of trade but coexisting as more or less equals". Later, in the prison camps under the chillingly brutal Japanese occupation, that same fraternity was in evidence as the enslaved races worked and survived together through the horror.
A tremendously different - taught and expected - attitude prevails in these personal accounts; being a 'Tuan' in the Far East Colonial Services seems to have been the exact opposite of being a 'Bwana' in British Africa or even a 'Sahib' in India; "... one felt that one did indeed belong, and that they seemed to accept one as belonging to them".
It is this need to be of service attitude that clearly rings out throughout these personal narratives.