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

By Lyon Sharman | Go to book overview

matter to judge how likely Sun Yat-sen would be to tell the truth about himself at any given time. Critical judgment is bound to play a part in concluding when he had motives for concealment, when he had motives for candor, and when he might have been simply off his guard.

Unless my reader happens to be interested in the vagaries of that none too correct lady whom we call Tradition, he is not likely to envy me the experience of biographizing Sun Yat-sen. Certainly I could not find it in my heart to wish upon another person the tedious pains and tantalizing labors that have been mine.

It is next to impossible to be entirely consistent in the anglicizing of Chinese names in a book such as this. Some names have become so standardized in English that no one would attempt to conform them to set rules now, e. g., Canton, Peking, Manchu. Sometimes it seems very desirable to follow the dialect of the district in anglicizing a place name or a personal name, as in the name of Sun Yat-sen's birthplace, Choyhung, and his own name also; but this is impossible as a general practice.

Because it is better that a reader should mispronounce a Chinese name than be conquered by it, I have avoided adding difficulty to difficulty by complicating any name in my text with the odd-looking breathings whose significance is occult to all except initiates in the Chinese language. But, in quoting a Chinese phrase, they seem indispensable; and I have used them regularly in the book lists.

It should be stated that the lists of Sources and Authorities, which follow next, are not general reading lists, but specific acknowledgments of source-material found useful in making the chapter under whose number they stand. The order of the titles represents, in general, the sequence of their usefulness.


II. SOURCES AND AUTHORITIES CHAPTER BY CHAPTER

CHAPTER I

LINEBARGER PAUL: Sun Yat Sen and the Chinese Republic, New York 1925. No other biography contains so many episodes of childhood and youth.

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