|Author||Edward Bliss, Jr.|
|Number of Pages||297页；217千字|
Desiring to lead a helpful life, Edward Bliss Sr. learned medicine and applied for nonpreaching missionary service in China. Thus began the 40 fascinating and varied years that his son lovingly details, drawing on a variety of records and manuscripts and many interviews to make his father's biography an enjoyable depiction of Chinese life. Most of Dr. Bliss' time was spent in and around the city of Shaowu in southeast China. He learned the language; traveled a wide area by boat, train, mule, and on foot; and discovered how his patients lived and thought as well as how to treat and even prevent some of their medical problems. He built clinics and hospitals, several of them more than once because of political, military, and flood problems; established herds of milk cows; and did remarkable practical and research work on fighting rinderpest, a destructive cattle disease. His courtship of his wife, May, conducted in part by building a tennis court, and their long, mutually supportive, productive marriage are other noteworthy achievements.
Relying on letters from and conversations with his father and others, as well as his own recollections of living in China as the son of two missionaries, the author, a well-known journalist, offers an account of his father's lifelong devotion to China and its people. He perfectly balances an objective description of his father's contributions as a physician and Christian missionary with a genuine warmth and respect for him. As a backdrop to the primary story of his father's work, Bliss describes the larger sociopolitical events taking place both in China and around the world--recalling that his father once described himself and his fellow American missionaries as "the first anti-isolationists." Bliss senior suffered bouts of malaria, plagues and floods, but it would only be in the wake of Mao's rise to power that Edward would leave China. Bliss succeeds beautifully in painting a private view of a transformative period in world history through the eyes of one man.