INTERNATIONAL: Shanghai to the Marines

Last week may have marked the beginning of the end of one of the strangest cities in the world: Shanghai. At the close of the Opium War, in 1842, Great Britain took title to some unattractive mud flats between Soochow Creek and the Whangpoo River near the mouth of the 3,200-mile-long Yangtze. On those flats a metropolis spawned, a city not of one nation but of the world, where British taipans played polo in the long afternoons, where tough, good-humored American businessmen talked baseball, poker and politics, where short French soldiers laughed...

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