/, Memoir/Hong Kong on the Brink: An American diplomat relives 1967’s darkest days

Hong Kong on the Brink: An American diplomat relives 1967’s darkest days

$17.95

by Syd Goldsmith

Syd Goldsmith’s first taste of China’s Cultural Revolution is blood on his tongue. It’s 1967. Hong Kong is simmering, plagued by communist-led riots and strikes, crippled transport, punishing water-rationing, takeover threats from Beijing and roadside bombs. And Syd — the only Caucasian Foreign Service Officer at the American Consulate General who speaks Cantonese — is made responsible for reporting and analysis of the Hong Kong government’s ability to survive.

The CIA station chief and the head of Macau’s gold syndicate play major roles in Syd’s story, along with Newsweeks Sydney Liu and Maynard Parker, and a steady stream of inquiring foreign correspondents and China-watchers. Richard Nixon makes a cameo appearance — to talk football with Syd since the consul general won’t see him — in this riveting memoir of a year when Hong Kong’s “borrowed time” seemed about to expire.

Look inside this book
Click on the following link to read pages from Hong Kong on the Brink. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

Chapters 1 to 3

ISBN: 978-988-77927-8-9 Categories: , Tags: ,

Description

Syd Goldsmith’s first taste of China’s Cultural Revolution is blood on his tongue. It’s 1967. Hong Kong is simmering, plagued by communist-led riots and strikes, crippled transport, punishing water-rationing, takeover threats from Beijing and roadside bombs. And Syd — the only Caucasian Foreign Service Officer at the American Consulate General who speaks Cantonese — is made responsible for analysis of the Hong Kong government’s ability to survive. The CIA station chief and the head of Macau’s gold syndicate play major roles in Syd’s story, along with Newsweek’s Sydney Liu and Maynard Parker, and a steady stream of inquiring foreign correspondents and China-watchers. Richard Nixon makes a cameo appearance in this riveting memoir of a year when Hong Kong’s “borrowed time” seemed about to expire.

MEDIA ATTENTION

“Fifty years ago today, Syd Goldsmith was almost beaten to death by an angry mob in Hong Kong. On May 11, 1967, amid rumours of unrest at a factory, Syd, then a young US diplomat on his first offshore posting, was sent out into the streets to get a first-hand look. He quickly found himself in deep trouble amid the now-famed Hong Kong riots. To this day, he counts himself lucky to be alive.” — Listen to the podcast on News Lens Radio

“A lively, informative and well written effort and, for me, an evocative trip down memory lane. The personality sketches are deft and right on the mark.” Burton Levin, former US Ambassador, Consul General and Asia Society Director in Hong Kong

“Phil Whelan meets author Syd Goldsmith, whose new book Hong Kong on the Brink documents his experiences here as an American diplomat during the 1967 riots.” — Bookmarks at Radio 3

“Ex-US diplomat recounts how deadly 1967 Hong Kong unrest became full-blown riot after pro-Beijing figures stepped in: Syd Goldsmith says the trouble caught officials by surprise and recalls being besieged by angry protesters in the streets.” — South China Morning Post

Additional information

Dimensions140 x 216 mm
Pages

280

Binding

Paperback

About the author

As the American Consulate General’s Hong Kong/Macau Political Officer during the 1967 Emergency, Syd Goldsmith had access to everything the CIA, a Chinese “Deep Throat,” and Hong Kong Government contacts would share as the colony faced Chinese Cultural Revolution-inspired threats to its very existence.

He has been a diplomat, advisor to Chinese companies, concert flutist, and university professor during his 40 years in Chinese places. Syd, Hsiu-chen and their two children call Taipei home.