Korean American Books

Summaries and reviews of fiction and nonfiction books by Korean American authors,
books about Korean Americans and Korea, and Korean literature in English translation,
including some academic works and a sampling on the Korean War

Friday, March 7, 2008

Song of Ariran: A Korean Communist in the Chinese Revolution, by Nym Wales

A 1905-1937 biography of “Kim San” (Chang Chi-rak, aka Chiang Min, Han San, and Ying Kuang), narrated in 1937 to the American journalist Helen Foster Snow (Nym Wales). Kim joined the Chinese Communists as way to resist the Japanese occupation of Korea. He was a contemporary of nationalists Ahn Chang-ho and Yi Kwangsu, terrorists Kim Yaksan (Kim Wonbong), and O Songyun; and Korean communists Yi Tongwhi and Kim Chung-ch’ang. His story reveals his idealism and passionate nationalism, and through his eyes we also see the burgeoning communist movement in China.

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