Roger B. Jeans is Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor of East Asian History at Washington and Lee University. He is the author of Democracy and Socialism in Republican China.
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Good-Bye to Old Peking
The Wartime Letters of U.S. Marine Captain John Seymour Letcher, 1937–1939
Edited by Katie Letcher Lyle and Roger B. Jeans
For two and a half years (1937-1939), Captain John Seymour Letcher commanded a company of the U.S. Embassy Marine Guard in Peking. During that time, he wrote a series of letters to his parents in Virginia describing the life of a Westerner in the former imperial city. During that same time, China was invaded by Japan.Captain Letcher describes the flavor of life in pre-Communist China—the food, servants, cold Peking winters and torrid summers, hunting, and excursions to the major tourist sites.B