New York Times Editors' Choice!
Best Non-Fiction Books of 2023!
China Books Review:
Best China Books of 2023!
"Social bandits are, rather, peasant heroes of popular resistance... are known all over the world, from the early “Haiduks” of the Balkans to Robin Hood, Pancho Villa and Sun Mei-yao, the leader of the horde which attacked the Peking Express one night in 1923, the subject of James M. Zimmerman’s excellent new book."
"It’s an extraordinary story, tingling with memorable characters. Zimmerman, a lawyer and four-time chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, who has lived in Beijing for 25 years, tells it with meticulous deftness."
"In The Peking Express, James Zimmerman offers both a compelling historical narrative and a thrilling adventure .... this tale brought to life by Beijing-based author Zimmerman’s blending of research and storytelling."
"The Peking Express — a film-like true story of a train hijacking"
“James Zimmerman ... has achieved a modern rarity... So extraordinary are the events recounted in The Peking Express that it reads like fantasy…yielding a captivating story of robbery, murder, hostages and intrigue...”
“In this intelligent, engrossing book, James M Zimmerman draws on archival material, memoirs, letters and press reports to relate this strange, little-remembered story and does so with pace and style.... All of this makes 'The Peking Express' an enlightening, chilling and very enjoyable book.”
"The Peking Express...takes mountains of research and boils it down to a digestible telling of the 1923 train derailment...[Zimmerman] takes on a surprisingly engaging voice as a historical author, cutting between people and scenes like a movie."
"This gripping debut history from Beijing-based lawyer Zimmerman recounts the 1923 raid on a luxury train by Chinese bandits and the ensuing 37-day hostage standoff .... Dramatic and meticulously researched, it’s an immersive look at a forgotten chapter of Chinese history."
"James Zimmerman’s book tells the story of an extraordinary month-long hostage drama which began 100 years ago in a very different China. His research took him from archives in Nanjing and Shanghai to the homes of descendants of the hostages, rescuers and government officials."
“Zimmerman examines a largely forgotten yet important international incident…a vividly characterized account … Tremendous insight into little-remembered yet crucial events at the beginning of the formation of modern China.”
"One of the finest parts of Zimmerman’s story is how the hostages, despite their desperate situation, develop an awareness and empathy after witnessing firsthand the grinding poverty and deprivation in rural Shandong at the time...and engaging narrative that sheds light on the trauma ...at a pivotal moment in history."
“The Peking Express,” by James Zimmerman, tells in blow-by-blow detail the sensational tale of the “Lincheng Outrage” ... Zimmerman colorfully recounts the diverse palette of characters put together by chance on the ill-fated train.
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