by A. L. Crouch
This book is a little gem from an era long past, and it has huge value both as a window into that era and for the quality of the verses and accompanying illustrations. They illustrate in a unique way China and Shanghai in the late 1940s, and the mindset of the Americans who were here to help with the transition from Japanese occupation back towards normalcy. This collection of poems was written by A.L. Crouch, a lieutenant with the US Army stationed in Shanghai, and published by the US Army newspaper Stars and Stripes. It went into at least a second edition, indicating that resonated with many of the GIs stuck so far from home in a willow pattern world they hardly understood. The poems are poignant and insightful, and the drawings are effective in conveying the moment. Such portraits, both text and drawings, of ordinary people and things in old China have huge value in terms of transmitting a sense of the times. Here is the book, published first in 1946, given another run in the sun.
“What wonderful doggeral and delightful drawings! So evocative of a turning point in China’s history.” -Gareth Powell, Writer and Publisher