Jack Sherwood's memoir about his experiences in China as an employee of the Standard Oil Company provides the reader with a spell-binding tale of life lived under extreme political tensions in that country from 1929 to 1942. Since this was his very first job after graduating from Colgate University, Sherwood was not eligible for a position in the company's headquarters in Shanghai. Instead he was sent off into the hinterlands, north and west of Shanghai, where life-threatening dangers were his daily companion. During his tenure with the oil company, he witnessed the Japanese invasion of China and its destruction of Nanking. He also suffered in the aftermath of that invasion, for he was imprisoned by the Japanese as a spy. He managed to survive that ordeal, but unfortunately several of his fellow Standard Oil colleagues did not.