“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Heads Up – My Contribution to the 80th Anniversary of Bloody Saturday

Posted: July 16th, 2017 | 1 Comment »

As this year is the 80th anniversary of Bloody Saturday (August 14th 1937) I thought I’d put together a “Penguin Special” reconstruction of that awful day from various eyewitness accounts of the dreadful bombings that hit the Palace and Cathay hotels on Nanking Road and then outside the Great World Amusement Centre over on Thibet Road in the French Concession. The eye witnesses include people caught up in the bombs, those that planned the raids on the Japanese flagship Idzumo that went horrendously wrong, journalists, hotel managers, firemen, police, Volunteer Corps members and others. It’s being published to coincide with the anniversary as Bloody Saturday: Shanghai’s Darkest Day….

Marking 80 Years since Shanghai’s Darkest Day

New Penguin Special by New York Times Bestselling Author Paul French

Published by Penguin Books China ISBN 9780734398550

Available throughout APAC from 7 August 2017 US$ 6.99 paperback,

E-book also available worldwide

On 14 August 1937 Shanghai’s history took a dark turn. As a typhoon approached the city’s horizons, so did bomber planes, and as citizens went about their daily routines, Shanghai experienced the worst civilian aerial attack to date. On that day, many lives were lost, and it is the eyewitness accounts of those that survived the violent attack outside the infamous Cathay Hotel close by the Bund and the Great World amusement centre in the French Concession that are reconstructed in a new Penguin short, Bloody Saturday. Paul French, an author known and awarded for a meticulous approach to narrative non-fiction, relives the day of horror that saw friendly fire tear the city apart.

Born and currently based in London, and educated there and in Glasgow, Paul French lived and worked in Shanghai for many years. He is a widely published analyst and commentator on China and has written a number of books, including a history of foreign correspondents in China and a biography of the legendary Shanghai adman, journalist and adventurer Carl Crow.

His book Midnight in Peking was a New York Times Bestseller, a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and will be made into an international mini-series by Kudos Film and Television, the UK creators of Spooks, Broadchurch and Life on Mars.

Paul French is currently also working on City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir, which is centred on the dancehalls, casinos and cabarets of wartime Shanghai and is set to be published by Penguin China in November 2017.

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One Comment on “Heads Up – My Contribution to the 80th Anniversary of Bloody Saturday”

  1. 1 Chris said at 9:55 pm on July 16th, 2017:

    An horrific event! I first read about it in the book, Shanghai & Beyond by Percy Finch. I was a pre-teen at the time. I remember thinking, then, that the cost of life was staggering. And it was all an unforeseen circumstance, an “accident” of war. I look forward to reading the book.


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