John Grant Ross

/John Grant Ross

About John Grant Ross

John Grant Ross is the author of You Don't Know China and Formosan Odyssey.

The Real Taiwan and the Dutch: Traveling Notes from the Netherlands Representative • Menno Goedhart and Cheryl Robbins

When I came upon this Dutch-flavored guidebook in Jenny Wilsen’s independent bookstore in Taichung (gone the way of all flesh alas despite my NT$450 purchase) first impressions were decidedly mixed. Beautifully printed and lavishly illustrated, it looked, however, with its multitude of pictures of the author (over fifty of them!) […]

By |January 25th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

The Formosa Fraud: The story of George Psalmanazar, one of the greatest Charlatans in Literary History • Graham Earnshaw

The subtitle is no exaggeration: the Formosan imposter, who went by the name Psalmanazar, really was one of the greatest charlatans in literary history. As author Graham Earnshaw says, “he not only faked literary works, he faked himself, too.”

Despite Psalmanazar writing a confessional memoir, published posthumously, many of the details […]

By |January 24th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Writing and Pictures, 1683–1895 • Emma Jinhua Teng

Although Taiwan’s Imagined Geography is more an academic work than popular non-fiction (no surprise to learn that it began life as a doctoral dissertation) it’s digestible enough for the non-specialist general reader to tackle. Published in 2004 by Harvard University Press, the book is actually one of the best-selling titles […]

By |January 23rd, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West • Tonio Andrade

I approached Lost Colony with scepticism because of the book’s overreaching subtitle: The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West. While the story of the battle for Fort Zeelandia in 1661–1662 is little known to those unfamiliar with Chinese or Taiwanese history, it’s hardly untold. Nor can […]

By |January 21st, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History • Tonio Andrade

Tonio Andrade is one of the best historians currently writing about East Asia, and The Gunpowder Age (2016) is the best of his three excellent books. It expands on the Lost Colony’s comparison of European and Chinese military might during the 1660s, when Koxinga’s remnant Ming forces laid siege to the Dutch […]

By |January 15th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Looking Through Taiwan: American Anthropologists’ Collusion With Ethnic Domination • Keelung Hong and Stephen O. Murray

Communist victory in 1949 sealed China off from Western journalists, missionaries, Sinologists, tourists, and pretty much everyone except for the occasional leftist sympathizer. For some anthropologists, however, Taiwan provided an excellent substitute destination. Looking Through Taiwan (2005) examines how this displaced anthropological research often involved willing complicity with the authoritarian […]

By |January 13th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong • Antony Dapiran

Even for those of us familiar with Hong Kong, the Umbrella Movement of 2014, which saw supposedly apathetic Hong Kongers occupying the heart of the city with mass sit-in protests, came as a big surprise. It shouldn’t have. Antony Dapiran’s City of Protest: A recent history of dissent in Hong […]

By |November 29th, 2017|Reviews, Uncategorised|0 Comments

Playing in Isolation: A History of Baseball in Taiwan • Junwei Yu

In one of the great sporting runs of all time, from 1971 to 1981 Taiwan’s Little Leaguers went unbeaten at the annual Little League Baseball championship in the American town of Williamsport, scoring an incredible thirty-one straight victories. A whole generation of Taiwanese grew up rooting for these twelve-year-old schoolboys. […]

By |October 28th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Colonial Project, National Game: A History of Baseball in Taiwan • Andrew D. Morris

Although baseball is considered Taiwan’s national sport, finding physical evidence of its popularity on the ground is surprisingly hard. Go to a park on the weekend and basketball is what you see kids playing. Baseball is, however, Taiwan’s most popular spectator sport, and the only one with a professional league […]

By |October 27th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Author Interview: Donald N. Clark

Donald N. Clark, a leading figure in Korean Studies, is that rare breed of academic able to write broadly, write well, and for the general public. His books include Christianity in Modern Korea, Korea in World History, and Living Dangerously in Korea: The Western Experience 1900-1950. Although recently retired from teaching at Trinity University […]

By |October 27th, 2017|Author interviews|0 Comments