Massacre in Shansi

Massacre in Shansi

by Nat Brandt
     
 

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With his latest book, prize-winning, popular historian Nat Brandt turns his eye to a little-known group of Midwest missionaries who gave their lives for their religious beliefs. Brandt's careful research uncovers the life, attitudes, and Christianity of the Oberlin College missionaries from the late 1880s leading up to their deaths in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion…  See more details below

Overview

With his latest book, prize-winning, popular historian Nat Brandt turns his eye to a little-known group of Midwest missionaries who gave their lives for their religious beliefs. Brandt's careful research uncovers the life, attitudes, and Christianity of the Oberlin College missionaries from the late 1880s leading up to their deaths in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion in China. The eighteen missionaries who traveled to Shansi were dedicated, pious, hard-working clerics. Ernest Atwater, the young minister Francis Ward Davis and his wife Lydia, Charles Wesley Price and his family, and Susan Rowena Bird, to name a few, were all spurred by their strong beliefs, but they were also quite ignorant of other countries and cultures. Often having to live in disease-ravished areas of China and under harsh conditions, they were repulsed by the native lifestyle and saw further need to change it. Brandt presents finely wrought portraits of these people, detailing the lives of both the missionaries and their converts, their experiences in the interior province of Shansi, and their struggle in trying to spread Christianity among people whose language they could not speak and whose traditions and customs they did not understand. Brandt's gripping narrative brings to light a penetrating and sincere study of the "Oberlin Band" of Protestant missionaries and captures the essence of their daily life. Considered in a fair and honest context, the descriptions are often taken directly from personal correspondence and journals. This tragic story of the clash between two cultures is primarily the story of the missionaries - six men, seven women, five children. Their names appear on bronze tablets on the only monument in America ever erected to individuals who died in that uprising, the Memorial Arch on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As he did in The Town That Started the Civil War (LJ 4/1/90), Brandt, one-time managing editor of American Heritage magazine, examines the role of Oberlin College in history. Missionaries from the college ended up tragically murdered in China during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. Firm believers in the white man's Christian burden, they hardly suspected that they-more than the merchants and diplomats they remained aloof from-would be caught in the inevitable crossfire. They were dogged by ugly rumors that they prayed for drought and used Chinese babies in their rituals. At first, when only Catholic missionaries were attacked, the doughty Protestants felt safe in believing that the Chinese were settling ``old scores,'' but soon all missionaries were living in the shadow of death. During the four months of the worst violence, some 32,000 Chinese Christians were slain, along with more than 185 Protestant missionaries and their families. This exciting history re-created from the correspondence of the missionaries themselves is recommended for public libraries.-Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
Booknews
Chronicles the lives of 18 missionaries from Oberlin College who worked in Shansi, China, and died in 1900 during the Chinese Boxer Rebellion. Details their religious beliefs, attitudes, and struggles living with harsh conditions in disease-ravaged areas. A tragic story of the clash between two cultures. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781583483473
Publisher:
iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/02/1999
Pages:
364
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.81(d)

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