Michael Sauter
February 05, 2014 AT 05:00 AM EST

Chasing the Dragon

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Roy Rowan
publisher
The Lyons Press
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

Former LIFE photo-journalist Roy Rowan relates some memorable stories of his time in the late 1940s on mainland China in Chasing the Dragon, covering the Communist revolution and civil war. Like many a war correspondent, he wasn’t just an observer — he was a participant. In his accounts of dining with a Nationalist general in the midst of a battle or dodging mortar shells as a Chinese city fell, Rowan is almost too matter-of-fact about the real dangers he faced. Yet he is clear-eyed in portraying the peasants and soldiers at the ground level of momentous events. Through his words, dusty history stirs to life.

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