A couple of years after I published my ‘definitive’ (or so I hoped!) biography of Carl Crow. Nailed the guy, or so I thought. Now I stumble across a great nugget I would have loved to use to illustrate my point that Crow was not only a genius ad man and all round good egg but was quite correct about the roll out of Japanese aggression across China in the 1930s (despite being told to shut up by the US Diplomatic authorities in the name of a bit of trade) and knew that eventually Tokyo and Washington would go head to head in a hot war. Don’t you just hate it when that happens!!
1937 – Carl’s been in
In Shanghai the Japanese issue a list of 100 or so senior foreigners they want to ‘question’ – everyone knows what that means (they got one –J.B. Powell – and ‘questioned’ him using torture). Carl gets an evacuation ship out of
What I didn’t know was that was that in mid-1938 as the Japanese were driving up the Yangtze to Hankou Time Magazine reported that in Shanghai the Japanese Army were ordered to seize pro-Chinese books by US authors including Carl Crow, Agnes Smedley, Edgar Snow, two issues of the New York Times, one issue of Time. They were all deemed too pro-Chinese, too anti-Japanese and too effective as anti-Axis propaganda.
I wish I’d come across that report in Time when I was researching the book. Ho Hum, that’s the way it goes I suppose. Anyway, the whole Time article is now online as part of their digitised archive – click here