Saturday, November 1, 2008

Man and Wife of the Year

Time magazine’s tradition of selecting a Man of the Year began in 1927, when their editors sat around trying to think up stories during a slow news week.

A few notable people with China links have been given the award (occasionally women were also featured) - Wallis Simpson in 1936 as the first woman, though not of course for her Shanghai courtesan days but rather for nabbing a King (reputedly using some tricks she did learn in her Shanghai coutesan days). With the onset of the War in China Soong May-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek) in 1937 with the Generallisimo – Time owner Henry Luce (or course himself born in China) was infatuated with her. Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger got the honour (if being nominated for anything by a boring right wing magazine is indeed an honour?) in 1972 for opening relations with China and Deng Xiaoping in 1985 (the oldest person ever to be given the award) for being really old and launching the reform process.

No idea who’ll get it in 2008 (and don’t care much either - they gave it to Putin last year so their hit rate is hardly much good) but as the Chiangs appeared on the cover in January 1938 we can, I suppose, call this an annversary. And anyway Time’s 1938 Man of the Year was Adolf Hitler and I’m not putting a picture of him on my blog!


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