Song of Ariran: The Life Story of a Korean Rebel by Kim San

Song of Ariran: The Life Story of a Korean Rebel

byKim San, Nym Wales

Kobo ebook | October 23, 1941

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     Here for the first time is a personal account direct from a leader of the Korean rebels fighting against the Japanese who have ruled them for a generation. It is a story that fits the American tradition and the American wish to understand and support all peoples who have fought against their tyrants and oppressors. Perhaps not many know that Christianity was the mother of Korean Independence, that Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points fired the Korean heart and that the betrayal at Versailles broke it. Kim San was a patriot boy then. Now he is one of the three younger chiefs of Korean revolt, and the Japanese, who had him in their grasp twice, would pay a high price if they could catch him again. Nym Wales (Mrs. Edgar Snow) found him in the far interior of China, and in many weeks of questioning set down his story in his own words – on her promise not to publish it for at least two years.
     Kim San is an amazing figure, handsome, daring, emotional, shrewd, speaking every language he needs in his dangerous work, including English and Japanese, writing poetry in modern literary Chinese; an admirer of Tolstoy, a student of Marx, as much a connoisseur of revolution as Andre Malraux, as candid an autobiographer as Benjamin Franklin. He tells of his boyhood, his student days in Japan, his repulse of women who loved him and his final yielding to romance, his imprisonments and grilling by the Japanese, his secret underground work, the battles he fought, the faith and dream he still pursues. The book also gives, partly in his words and partly in appendices by Nym Wales, much new historical data about the Korean revolutionary movement, the Canton Commune, the first Chinese Soviet at Hailofeng, and other events in the unwritten modern history of the Far East. 
— Original English Edition 1941 The John Day Company, New York

Title:Song of Ariran: The Life Story of a Korean RebelFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:October 23, 1941Publisher:The John Day CompanyLanguage:English

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Amazing Story This amazing story of Korean Communism in its infancy covers the period 1910-1930's. There is also a revised 2nd edition, Song of Ariran : A Korean Communist in the Chinese Revolution, published in 1972, but this book is the original edition of 1941. They are both extremely hard to find in print. The two versions are nearly identical except for additional annotations in the 2nd edition, but I like this first edition better because it was the original written right in the midst of the confusion and turmoil of Communist Revolutions in the Far East. The later versions, including other language translations, were all written from a hindsight during the cold war period in the 1960-1980's. Therefore I place more historical value on the original 1941 edition. When this first book was written, no one foresaw what would become of the USSR, China, and North Korea. No one expected that their "democratic" idealism would give way to the worst kinds of totalitarian regimes in the world, for so many decades.. . oppressing more than ever the very people they so wanted to deliver from the cruel hands of the imperialists. It is a tragic tale of human history but is also a beautiful example of a man, a child really, longing and searching for an answer in the midst of a political whirlwind around him. A hundred years have passed since then, and cold war era is safely behind us now, but somehow I cannot help noticing that, with the things happening in the middle east in nowadays, we feel the same longing for peace as Kim San.
Date published: 2016-10-18