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|The late Israel Epstein Photo: Courtesy of the Oriental Publishing Center
When Woman in World History Jake McCabe Jersey , the biography about legendary Chinese female figure Soong Ching-ling (1893-1981) was published in 1992, many couldn't help but wonder at the name of the author behind this 10-year-long work: Israel Epstein (1915-2005), the famous international journalist and author who was born in Poland and later became a Chinese citizen in 1957.
Why Epstein? What was the relationship between the two? As the biography was translated into different languages over the years, an increasing number of people have become interested in how the biography came about.
Published in the middle of this year by the Oriental Publishing Center, Epstein and Soong Ching-ling's Biography sets out to satisfy the curiosity of readers by revealing some of the unknown facts behind the Soong biography as well as the special relationship that developed between her and Epstein.
According to Epstein and Soong Ching-ling's Biography, after declining the requests of many famous writers and journalists asking for permission to write her biography, Soong personally wrote several letters to Epstein asking him to take on the task.
"The first time Soong Ching-ling asked Epstein to write a biography for her was on May 28 Jason Pominville Jersey Sale , 1975," Huang Huanbi, Epstein's wife, explained in an interview in the book. In this letter, which can be found in Biography, Soong fills Epstein in on the endless march of publishers and writers asking her to allow them to write her biography. From the text, you can tell how it was her trust of Epstein Jack Eichel Jersey Sale , whom she felt knew her much better, that prompted her to contact him.
Besides this letter, other rare photos and materials are included in the book, which allows the work to also serve as a precious resource for historic research.
"Epstein didn't say anything about the biography, because that had been the first time Soong mentioned her biography to him and it didn't seem that urgent," Huang recalled during the interview.
The next time Soong asked Epstein to write her biography was on September 17 in 1980, a year before her death. This time her letter was much longer Evander Kane Jersey Sale , and in it Soong explained how much she trusted Epstein and how she wanted him, rather than anyone else, to write her biography.
In Biography, Huang recounted that people familiar with Soong knew that she was a very cautious and low-profile person. "In almost every letter she wrote to her friends, she would add 'destroy this after reading,'" said Huang. "And also the way she treated her photos. She didn't casually take photos, and never allowed them to be published without her express permission."
In 1976 Jason Pominville Sabres Jersey , when Soong returned to her apartment in Shanghai, she personally destroyed a large portion of her private letters and materials.
This low-key and cautious attitude may give us a clue as to why she was so particular about her biography. This was especially true after suffering through slander by some overseas media outlets in her later years. As such it's easy to understand why she was only willing to turn over such an important task to someone she trusted explicitly.
"In September of 1980, Epstein wrote a letter back to Soong, in which he said he would be more than happy to write her biography and that he would devote all his energy to it," Huang explained.
Although already 87 years old by that time, Soong later contacted Epstein many times to provide details for the book.
Decades long friendship
Epstein was only 23 years old when he met Soong for the first time in September of 1938. "Before that, they already knew about each other's thoughts and stances from their writing Jack Eichel Sabres Jersey , but that was just a start," said Huang. That year Soong was working to establish the China Defense League in Hong Kong. Epstein had been invited as one of the leaders for the institution, the youngest in fact.
"From that point on Epstein worked for this institution his entire life, and until 1981 [when Soong died] they shared many experiences," said Huang.
For instance, in 1944, when Epstein was visiting Yan'an Evander Kane Sabres Jersey , the revolutionary base for the CPC (Communist Party of China) at the time, he passed along greetings to Mao Zedong on Soong's behalf and asked him how the League could better help Yan'an. Epstein later brought Soong a list of needed items written by Mao himself.
More importantly, from 1946 on he helped Soong cope with the slander and libel originating from a group of foreign journalists. "In the many letters between Epstein and Soong, the name André Schiffrin [who wrote in an article in The New York Times the falsehood that Soong had lived together with Sun Yat-sen while Sun was still married to his first wife] appears multiple times, and I think that situation had a lot to do with Soong's decision to ask Epstein to write her biography," said Huang.
On behalf of Soong, Epstein contacted Schiffrin several times in 1980 sharing Soong's personal account of the situation before her marriage to Sun Jason Pominville Womens Jersey , her parents' attitude and the resulting aftermath of the marriage, which caused Schiffrin to finally admit his mistake.
For years Epstein's written works, such as From Opium War to Liberation, Tibet Transformed and The Unfinished Revolution in China, examined China from a macro-perspective. This was also a factor in Soong's decision.
"She knew Epstein never cared about gossip or personal odds and ends. She knew he would never write something just to cater to readers' curiosity. With her biography in his hands, she could be confident her life would not be distorted," Huang explained.
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