The Last Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Jewish Dynasties That Helped Create Modern China
Kaufman is a former Wall Street Journal reporter and a Pulitzer Prize winner, who in this fascinating book, tells the tale of the Sassoon and the Kadoorie dynasty in the twentieth century’s vibrant city of Shanghai.
Two Baghdad Jewish families, the Sassoons and the Kadoories migrated from Baghdad to Bombay, India, and then to Shanghai. In Shanghai, the families had grown to an unbelievable fortune with outstanding opulence.
Though the path wasn’t always the moral one, Sassoons made their first fortune in china from the Opium business, which engaged smuggling, bribe, and even muscle power.
With a high moral example, both families acted magnificently in the late 1930s and during World War II.
They aided 18,000 despairing escaped Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and Austria with shelter support and hope in Shanghai.
When these dynasty’s wealth and prosperity had continued to grow, a communist revolution was growing, led by Mao Ze Tung.
Finally, after the Communist victory in 1949, the prominence of the dynasties come to a stop.
While Telling the fascinating story of these tycoons, Kaufman also brings it to the light of how these Jewish families ignited an economic boom in China and how they pioneered the global vision.