Shanghai Redux

In preparation for a buying trip to Shanghai, I stumbled across a new book published by Penguin in China this year: SHANGHAI: A History in Photographs, 1842 – Today by HS Liu and Karen Smith. 

I love the picture of these girls at the Shanghai Tennis Club.  Here’s the blurb on the book:

“Shanghai traces the story of the most modern of China’s cities, through evocative, beautiful and sometimes painful images. In 1842, the signing of the ignominious Treaty of Nanking turned a small riverside stop-off into a bustling treaty port. Over the near-170 years that followed, Shanghai was shaped and defined by outside forces, from the foreign concessions and Japanese occupiers through to the arrival of the Communists and the cult of Mao. Through civil war, invasion, revolution and famine, Shanghai beat the odds to become a thriving metropolis that commands a place in the contemporary imagination unlike any other. Shanghai has unceasingly been a byword for style, culture, business, and opportunity, and has led the way in China’s ongoing economic boom. The story told through the pages of Shanghai is both grand in scale, and domestic in tone. Photographs depict families living under the cloud of war, enjoying the fine life accorded by a booming international trade (as much in pictures of the 19th century as today), and suffering the inequalities of poverty. Time moves on and fashions change, but above all else, it is the humanity of the city of Shanghai shines through in this spectacular and sweeping history.”

Many of the older photos have supposedly never been published before and Liu and Smith did an amazing job digging into previously inaccessible or overlooked archives.

I haven’t figured out where to find one Stateside. I just might have to smuggle one in my suitcase.


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