The Vigil of a Nation
For the second time Lin Yutang has gone deep into wartime China and has come out with much to tell. No foreign writer, and few Chinese, could have had such a chance to see past the smoke of war, through the clouds of gossip, and beneath the heaving surface of economic and political change. And Lin Yutang, as always, is unafraid of the truth.
His sense of history, joined with his spirit of eager inquiry, led him to watch for the old China along with the new. Only China presents such a study in contrasts, rich alike with romance and with hope for the future. Sitting on the ruins of a Tang palace and telling us tales of ancient times, Lin Yutang looks down at an Industrial Co-operative group working in the gully below and dreams of the China that is to be. He describes a cotton mill, all underground, three miles of whirring machines in tunnels bored beneath the protecting hills; and further west, a vast irrigation system built two thousand years ago and still working perfectly.