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William Scott Ament and the Boxer Rebellion : heroism, hubris and the "ideal missionary"

by Larry Clinton Thompson

  Print book : Biography

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A Unique Perspective on China History    (2009-06-08)


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by Rebecca2878

I've read several books about the Boxer Rebellion. This is probably the most interesting.  It tells not only an exciting story but it also looks at the moral aspects of the Western invasion of China and the destruction of the Boxers in 1900. The book is attractive and well illustrated and contains many maps plus footnotes and an extensive bibliography and index.  It's a paperback that's well above average in quality. 

The principal character of the book is an American missionary, William Scott Ament. Ament was brave to the point of being foolhardy. He is remembered today primarily for the accusations of looting against him made by Mark Twain. This book looks at those accusations and Ament's defense. The author presents the controversy objectively.  Primarily, however, "William Scott Ament" is an adventure story with a colorful cast of characters, including Herbert Hoover, and American marines such as Smedley Buter and two-time medal of honor winner Daniel J. Daly. The battle scenes are well done. The book is about foreigners in China rather than Chinese, but sufficient background is provided to understand the Chinese government and society of the day.

I recommend the book to history buffs, especially those with an interest in China, missionaries, and marines.



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