Sun Yat-Sen His Life and Its Meaning: A Critical Biography

By Lyon Sharman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX The Weight of a Patriot's Influence

I. THE MAKING OF THE PARTY BIBLE

NO one can ponder the portentous changes in China in this vital period without returning again and again to wonder at the ways of Michael Borodin. That he succeeded in enlisting Sun Yat-sen at all was an astonishing feat. No one else -- either Chinese or foreign -- seems to have come so near manipulating China's revolutionary leader. Borodin had doubtless an advantage in not having tried to handle Sun Yat-sen before. He was new to Borodin and Borodin to him. Consequently, Borodin had freshness of vision, and the zest of a new attack. Even so, Sun Yat-sen was at this time of his life a friable personality to handle. Borodin's undertaking was no light adventure. Now that the entire series of events lies before us as a sequence of accomplished facts, it is easy to imagine the process of their accomplishment, but, to forget the hazardous uncertainties of their working out is easy, too.

Borodin found Sun Yat-sen tenacious of his supremacy in the party, but he was wise enough not to trim his power; on the contrary he gave the stanch old patriot assurance of power such as he had never had before. Chapter Four in the Constitution of the Kuomintang stands not only as "a token of everlasting remembrance" of Sun Yat-sen, but also as evidence of the skilful ways of Michael Borodin. Under the caption, "The President," this chapter does not define the functions of the president as such, that is, of any possible president, but only of President Sun Yat-sen:

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