Recently occupied by the Nationalist Chinese regime, Taiwan in early 1947 was a powder keg. Anger at the corrupt misrule of the new government erupted into protests and riots, which quickly became an island-wide uprising. The response from the Nationalists was brutal and overwhelming - a weeks-long massacre in which local leaders and intellectuals were systematically slaughtered. Estimates of the dead range from ten thousand to thirty thousand. The killings became known as the -228 Massacre-, the -228 Incident-, or simply -228-, after the date of the first riots (February 28).
Allan J. Shackleton was a New Zealand officer with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration assigned to in Taiwan at the time. His eyewitness account of the massacre is an important document for understanding modern Taiwan's founding tragedy. Shackleton tried for years to get it published, but it was deemed too politically sensitive during the Cold War, when -Free China- was an ally of the Western world. Finally, after Taiwan's first democratic presidential election, Shackleton's son was approached by a publisher and the first edition appeared in 1998, fifty years after it was written.
This Camphor Press edition has been reset and carries a number of minor corrections to the 1998 edition.