Foreign Devil: Thirty Years of Reporting from the Far East - Richard HughesLondon: Andre Deutsch, 1972, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper.
From the cover: “Any working pressman who finds life dull in the Far East shouldn’t be in the trade. That is Richard Hughes’ opinion, for reasons which will be abundantly clear to readers of his reminiscences. It is partly a matter of the things which have happened in his own ‘beat’, which extends from Singapore to Korea, in the years since he left his native Australia for Tokyo in 1940; and even more a matter of the spirit in which he has observed them.
In Richard Hughes’ own words, Foreign Devil is made up of anecdotes and presumptions, excuses and reflections spread over thirty years of great events. That statement’s modesty of tone, while seemly, hardly does justice to the book’s ebullience, charm and variety.
There are spies in it, notably the mysterious Richard Sorge, about whom Hughes knows a great deal, and Messrs Burgess and Maclean whom he tracked down in Moscow — he was the first Western correspondent to interview them there. There are tragedies, such as the murder — or suicide? — of Jimmy Cox, Reuter’s correspondent in Tokyo. There is a great deal of comedy, such as the author’s visit to Kobe’s Honourable Sex Shop and the introduction of dog-racing in Japan. And there is much shrewd assessment of events, particularly in China. Richard Hughes makes his base in Hong Kong and is the most experienced of China-watchers, combining irreverence with affection. Among his reports on China in this book are a first-hand account of crime and punishment under Chairman Mao, an examination of the adaptation of classical Chinese opera to the needs of political propaganda, and some splendid vignettes revealing the human foibles behind the party line.
Wherever one dips there is something to amuse, interest or astonish, and over it all there presides a personality celebrated in the world of journalism for being outrageously delightful: a reputation which will be heartily confirmed by everyone who reads this book.”