+612 9045 4394
$7.95 Delivery per order to Australia and New Zealand
100% Australian owned
Over a hundred thousand in-stock titles ready to ship
Oil for the Lamps of China - Alice Tisdale Hobart

Oil for the Lamps of China

By: Alice Tisdale Hobart, Sherman Cochran (Introduction by)

Paperback Published: 1st December 1933
ISBN: 9781788690270
Number Of Pages: 402

Other Formats

Share This Book:
Ships in 15 business days

Earn 65 Qantas Points
on this Book

Other Available Editions (Hide)

  • Hardcover View Product Published: 1st December 1933

Oil for the Lamps of China (1934) was a best-selling novel when it was first published, just a few years after Pearl Buck's The Good Earth (1931). The hero of the story is a keen, young American businessman who wants to bring "light" and progress to China in the form of oil and oil lamps, but who is caught between Chinese revolutionary nationalism in the 1920s and the heartless American corporation that has built his career.

The title became a catch phrase for expansive American dreams of the vast China market even though the novel itself, written at the beginning of the Great Depression, was skeptical of large business and any supposed American ability to improve China.

The author presents a clear portrait of Western idealism versus Eastern pragmatism in the doubly exotic setting of Mainland China before the advent of large-scale industrialization. The portrayal is unflattering to both sides.
While some might now regard the more sympathetic treatment of the young American as out of date, others would counter that the picture is both historically and contextually accurate. "Now, nearly seventy years since it was originally published, . . . Oil for the Lamps of China again seems timely. Once again ambitious young Americans like Stephen Chase are working for big corporations in China. . . . Once again sensitive young spouses like Hester are coping with the rigors of living simultaneously in American corporate culture and Chinese culture. . . . As these parallels suggest, if Oil for the Lamps of China was timely in the 1930s, then it also seems timely today."

-- from the introduction by Sherman Cochran

Industry Reviews

"Of amazing scope, and a richness and integrity difficult to convey"

-- The New York Times

"What Mrs. [Pearl] Buck has done for the Chinese peasant in The Good Earth and Sons, Mrs. Hobart has done for the Chinese and the American trader in Oil for the Lamps of China. Hester & Stephen, Kin and Ho are unforgettable characters, but greatest of all, of course, is the Oil Company to which justice is excellently done. Mrs. Buck might have created Kin and Ho but only Mrs. Hobart -- out of her tragically intimate knowledge -- could have created Stephen and oiled the portrait of 'the Company.' "

-- Harley Farnsworth MacNair (Professor of Chinese history, University of Chicago)

ISBN: 9781788690270
ISBN-10: 1788690273
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 402
Published: 1st December 1933
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.26
Weight (kg): 0.59

Earn 65 Qantas Points
on this Book

This product is categorised by