Monthly Archives: December 2011

Ocean Beach surf pics

I’ve been seriously distracted lately… and here I am getting distracted by some of the action at Ocean Beach, courtesy of Bruce Topp at norcalsurfphotos.com

Posted in China's Wings, Oddities & Off topics | Tagged | 4 Comments

The White Countess, my favorite Shanghai movie

The White Countess, a film that evokes the glitter and grime of 1930s Shanghai. The film wasn’t universally well-reviewed, but I confess to loving it. At a number of points it intersected the life of William Langhorne Bond, main character in China’s Wings. Continue reading

Posted in Book & Movie Reviews, China's Wings, Reading, Writing, and Research | Tagged , | 4 Comments

China’s Wings book jacket

This in from Bantam yesterday. (With thanks to photographer Stephen Alvarez for use of the pic he took of me in Iran last summer. His gobsmacking website is well worth perusing. And thanks also to my editor, Tracy Devine — … Continue reading

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What bestselling author James Hornfischer has to say about China’s Wings…

James Hornfischer, bestselling author of Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, Ship of Ghosts, and Neptune’s Inferno recently gave this very generous review of China’s Wings: “Too many people think the war in the Pacific began with Japan’s sudden … Continue reading

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An excellent CBI site

an excellent website devoted to the history of the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II Continue reading

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America’s worst foreign policy of all time

The neutrality legislation of the 1930s: I think it’s to The United States’ everlasting shame that we couldn’t discern any principle or outrage worth fighting for prior to December 7, 1941–in either hemisphere. Continue reading

Posted in 1930s and 1940s history, China's Wings, History & Politics | Tagged | 8 Comments

Quite simply, they thought we’d crumble

Coming from a nation and culture that valued harmony so highly, and one whose “united hundred million” they considered Japan’s greatest asset, they weren’t equipped to perceive our ability to peacefully disagree as a cultural strength and didn’t understand that the hammer blow of Pearl Harbor would unite America behind a common cause — the destruction of Japan. Continue reading

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Pearl Harbor, a colossal blunder?

The Pearl Harbor attack was an astounding operational success, and it forever shifted the shape of naval warfare. It also strikes me as one of the greatest strategic blunders of modern times. Continue reading

Posted in 1930s and 1940s history, aviation history, China's Wings | Tagged | 2 Comments

The lone flush toilet in Chungking

The toilet had no door, it faced the stairway, and Harold Bixby considered it “about as private as the information booth at Grand Central Station.” Continue reading

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Moon Chin’s favorite airplane-the Douglas Dolphin

The Dolphins’ wings were skinned with plywood, and the nails tended to loosen with the impact of each water landing. One of Moon Chin’s copilot duties was to nonchalantly walk along the wing top after each landing and use his boot heel to discretely shove the nails back into place. Continue reading

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