American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin

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9780809323036: American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin
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The Japanese army’s brutal four-month occupation of the city of Nanking during the 1937 Sino-Japanese War is known, for good reason, as “the rape of Nanking.” As they slaughtered an estimated three hundred thousand people, the invading soldiers raped more than twenty thousand women—some estimates run as high as eighty thousand. Hua-ling Hu presents here the amazing untold story of the American missionary Minnie Vautrin, whose unswerving defiance of the Japanese protected ten thousand Chinese women and children and made her a legend among the Chinese people she served.
Vautrin, who came to be known in China as the “Living Goddess” or the “Goddess of Mercy,” joined the Foreign Christian Missionary Society and went to China during the Chinese Nationalist Revolution in 1912. As dean of studies at Ginling College in Nanking, she devoted her life to promoting Chinese women’s education and to helping the poor.
At the outbreak of the war in July 1937, Vautrin defied the American embassy’s order to evacuate the city. After the fall of Nanking in December, Japanese soldiers went on a rampage of killing, burning, looting, rape, and torture, rapidly reducing the city to a hell on earth. On the fourth day of the occupation, Minnie Vautrin wrote in her diary: “There probably is no crime that has not been committed in this city today. . . . Oh, God, control the cruel beastliness of the soldiers in Nanking.”
When the Japanese soldiers ordered Vautrin to leave the campus, she replied: “This is my home. I cannot leave.” Facing down the blood-stained bayonets constantly waved in her face, Vautrin shielded the desperate Chinese who sought asylum behind the gates of the college. Vautrin exhausted herself defying the Japanese army and caring for the refugees after the siege ended in March 1938. She even helped the women locate husbands and sons who had been taken away by the Japanese soldiers. She taught destitute widows the skills required to make a meager living and provided the best education her limited sources would allow to the children in desecrated Nanking.
Finally suffering a nervous breakdown in 1940, Vautrin returned to the United States for medical treatment. One year later, she ended her own life. She considered herself a failure.
Hu bases her biography on Vautrin’s correspondence between 1919 and 1941 and on her diary, maintained during the entire siege, as well as on Chinese, Japanese, and American eyewitness accounts, government documents, and interviews with Vautrin’s family.

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About the Author:

Hua-ling Hu has taught Chinese language and literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she received a doctorate in history, and modern Chinese history at the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan.  She served as an editor of the Journal of Studies of Japanese Aggression Against China for six years.  Her publications include three books and over eighty short stories, essays, and historical papers.  In 1998 she received the prestigious Chinese Literary and Arts Medal of Honor in Biography in Taiwan for the Chinese language edition of her biography of Minnie Vautrin.

From Publishers Weekly:

Minnie Vautrin was a Christian missionary, a teacher and an administrator at Ginling College in Nanking. Having arrived in China in 1912 at the age of 26, she worked tirelessly for nearly 30 years to expand and maintain the school, to educate Chinese women and to improve the lot of the city's poor. But she served her adopted country best during the Japanese occupation of Nanking in 1937, when the city and its citizens were ravaged by the Japanese. During the occupation, Japanese soldiers raped an estimated 20,000 women; that number would have been higher were it not for Vautrin. Turning the Ginling campus into a sanctuary for 10,000 women and children, she created a small international safety zone. She stood up to the soldiers who demanded women to brutalize, and she did her best to negotiate with their superiors to keep her haven safe. She also brought order and hope to the refugees' lives by organizing classes, as well as Christmas and other celebrations. In the early 1940s, however, Vautrin, feeling like a failure, committed suicide. Unfortunately, despite the drama of Vautrin's story and Hu's use of Vautrin's own letters and diaries, the prose here is dry and almost dispassionate, often bogging down in the details of school administration. Iris Chang's recent The Rape of Nanking is a far more poignant account of this period, to which this book mostly serves as a supplement. Photos, maps. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Southern Illinois University Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The Japanese army's brutal four-month occupation of the city of Nanjing during the 1937 Sino-Japanese War is known, for good reason, as "the rape of Nanjing". As they slaughtered an estimated 200,000 people, the invading soldiers raped more than 20,000 women - some estimates run as high as 80,000. This work presents the story of the American missionary Minnie Vautrin, whose defiance of the Japanese protected 10,000 Chinese women and children and made her a legend among the Chinese people she served. Vautrin, who came to be known in China as the "Living Goddess" or the "Goddess of Mercy", joined the Foreign Christian Missionary society and went to China during the Chinese Nationalist Revolution in 1912. As Dean of Studies at Ginling College in Nanjing, she devoted her life to promoting Chinese women's education and to helping the poor. At the outbreak of the war in July 1937, Vautrin defied the American Embassy's order to evacuate the city. After the fall of Nanjing in December, Japanese soldiers went on a rampage of killing, burning, looting, rape and torture, rapidly reducing the city to a hell on earth. On the fourth day of the occupation, Minne Vautrin wrote in her diary: "There probably is no crime that has not been committed in this city today.Oh, God, control the cruel beastliness of the soldiers in Nanjing". When the Japanese soldiers ordered Vautrin to leave the campus, she replied: "This is my home. I cannot leave". Facing down the blood-stained bayonets constantly waving in her face, Vautrin shielded the desperate Chinese who sought asylum behind the gates of the college. Vautrin exhausted herself defying the Japanese army and caring for the refugees after the siege ended in March 1938. She even helped the women locate husbands and sons who had been taken away by the Japanese soldiers. She taught destitute widows the skills required to make a meagre living and provided the best education her limited resources would allow to the children in desecrated Nanjing. Finally suffering a nervous breakdown in 1940, Vautrin returned to the United States for medical treatment. One year later, she ended her own life. She considered herself a failure. Hu bases her biography on Vautrin's correspondence between 1919 and 1941 and on her diary, maintained during the entire siege, as well as on Chinese, Japanese and American eyewitness accounts, government documents and interviews with Vautrin's family. Seller Inventory # FLT9780809323036

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Book Description Southern Illinois University Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The Japanese army's brutal four-month occupation of the city of Nanjing during the 1937 Sino-Japanese War is known, for good reason, as "the rape of Nanjing". As they slaughtered an estimated 200,000 people, the invading soldiers raped more than 20,000 women - some estimates run as high as 80,000. This work presents the story of the American missionary Minnie Vautrin, whose defiance of the Japanese protected 10,000 Chinese women and children and made her a legend among the Chinese people she served. Vautrin, who came to be known in China as the "Living Goddess" or the "Goddess of Mercy", joined the Foreign Christian Missionary society and went to China during the Chinese Nationalist Revolution in 1912. As Dean of Studies at Ginling College in Nanjing, she devoted her life to promoting Chinese women's education and to helping the poor. At the outbreak of the war in July 1937, Vautrin defied the American Embassy's order to evacuate the city. After the fall of Nanjing in December, Japanese soldiers went on a rampage of killing, burning, looting, rape and torture, rapidly reducing the city to a hell on earth. On the fourth day of the occupation, Minne Vautrin wrote in her diary: "There probably is no crime that has not been committed in this city today.Oh, God, control the cruel beastliness of the soldiers in Nanjing". When the Japanese soldiers ordered Vautrin to leave the campus, she replied: "This is my home. I cannot leave". Facing down the blood-stained bayonets constantly waving in her face, Vautrin shielded the desperate Chinese who sought asylum behind the gates of the college. Vautrin exhausted herself defying the Japanese army and caring for the refugees after the siege ended in March 1938. She even helped the women locate husbands and sons who had been taken away by the Japanese soldiers. She taught destitute widows the skills required to make a meagre living and provided the best education her limited resources would allow to the children in desecrated Nanjing. Finally suffering a nervous breakdown in 1940, Vautrin returned to the United States for medical treatment. One year later, she ended her own life. She considered herself a failure. Hu bases her biography on Vautrin's correspondence between 1919 and 1941 and on her diary, maintained during the entire siege, as well as on Chinese, Japanese and American eyewitness accounts, government documents and interviews with Vautrin's family. Seller Inventory # BZV9780809323036

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