Special Section: A Blue Apple in a City for Sale

Like Paris in the Belle Epoque or Berlin in the '20s, Shanghai in the '30s was not only a city but a state of mind. When Chiang Ch'ing arrived in 1933, it was an Oriental boom town that neither Japanese aggression nor worldwide Depression could seriously daunt. Since the late '20s its population had grown by a third, to well over 3 million, its real estate values had trebled, and skyscrapers had pierced its once low skyline. At the same time—such was the city's schizophrenia—Shanghai contained vast pockets of poverty. On an average...

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