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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

China Gadabouts

New Frontiers of Humanitarian Nursing, 1941–51

The Sino-Japanese War (1937–45) had a devastating impact on China’s population. Braving bandits and disease, the China Convoy – a Quaker-sponsored humanitarian unit – provided medical relief in the unoccupied territory of “Free China” and later to both sides in the ensuing civil war. China Gadabouts examines the roles played by Western and Chinese nurses in the Convoy’s humanitarian efforts from 1941 to 1951. In so doing, it re-examines the quandaries of Quakers’ purportedly apolitical global engagement that remain salient for contemporary humanitarians. China Gadabouts illuminates the dilemmas, challenges, and opportunities presented by humanitarian work within a Western-based relief organization.

356 pages

Table of Contents


Part 1: From Regional War to Global War, 1941–45

Introduction to Part 1

1 Trial by Fire: Early Field Operations, 1941–42

2 A Marriage of Convenience: Courting the Chinese Nurses, 1942–43

3 The Salween Campaign: Humanitarian Diplomacy, 1944–45

4 “China Needs Good Men, and Still Better Women,” British Nurses, 1943–44

5 Baoshan: Professionalism, Pacifism, and Proposals, 1944–45

Part 2: Navigating New Humanitarian Frontiers, 1945–51

Introduction to Part 2

6 The Road to Honan: Plagues, Cholera, and Devilish Devolutions, 1944–45

7 Henan: Hope and Despair, 1945–47

8 “Early Team”: Guerrilla Warfare Nursing, 1946–47

Part 3: Unwelcome Visitors: Negotiating Access with The Communists, 1947–51

Introduction to Part 3

9 Nursing beyond the Trenches, 1947–50

Conclusion: Nurse Warriors without Weapons

Notes; Bibliography; Index

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