伊斯雷尔·爱泼斯坦

Is­rael Ep­stein (1915-2005)

That's China - - Er Wai Prologue 二外序曲 -

Is­rael Ep­stein was a nat­u­ral­ized Chi­nese jour­nal­ist and au­thor, who served as an ar­dent es­say­ist for Mao Ze­dong nd and Chi­nese com­mu­nism. Al­though born in Poland to Jewish par­ents, his fam­ily fled to China when he was two years old. He worked as a jour­nal­ist in his teens writ­ing for the Pek­ing and Tientsin Times, an English lan­guage news­pa­per based in Tian­jin. He also cov­ered the Ja­panese in­va­sion of China for Western news agen­cies. He joined the China De­fense League and even faked news about his own death as a de­coy for the Ja­panese who were try­ing to ar­rest him. Ep­stein be­came ac­quainted with Edgar Snow af­ter he was tasked with re­view­ing one of Snow’s books. He was even given the chance to see the clas­sic “Red Star Over China” be­fore it was pub­lished. In Hong Kong, Ep­stein worked with Soong Ching Ling, Sun Yat-sen’s widow, al­low­ing for the op­por­tu­nity to meet Mao. Ep­stein in­ter­viewed Mao ex­ten­sively, which led to the pub­li­ca­tion of a se­ries of glow­ing por­tray­als of Mao. Af­ter the Sec­ond World War, Ep­stein moved to Amer­ica with his wife, where he pub­lished The Un­fin­ished Rev­o­lu­tion in China. Af­ter Amer­i­can at­ti­tudes to Com­mu­nism hard­ened, Ep­stein moved back to China where he was in­vited to edit China To­day (then called China Re­con­structs). He be­came edi­tor in 1951 and held that po­si­tion un­til 1985. He took Chi­nese na­tion­al­ity in 1957, joined the Com­mu­nist Party in 1964, and rose to a po­si­tion of con­sid­er­able pres­tige. Dur­ing the Cul­tural Rev­o­lu­tion, Ep­stein was im­pris­oned due to po­lit­i­cal rea­sons, but af­ter five years in soli­tary con­fine­ment was re­leased with an apol­ogy and the restora­tion of his ex­alted po­si­tion. De­spite this, he re­mained loyal to the ideals of Com­mu­nism un­til his death, and was ap­pointed to China's up­per ad­vi­sory cham­ber in 1983. His ma­jor books in­clude From Opium War to Lib­er­a­tion, The Peo­ple’s War, and The Un­fin­ished Rev­o­lu­tion in China. Ep­stein died in Bei­jing at the age of 90. Be­fore his death, Hu Jin­tao vis­ited him and praised his “spe­cial con­tri­bu­tions”.

Is­rael Ep­stein on the train to Tai'erzhuang in 1938

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