Description

The Adventures of Eddie Fung

Chinatown Kid, Texas Cowboy, Prisoner of War

Judy Yung

  • $24.95t paperback (9780295987545) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2011
  • Subject Listing: Asian American Studies, World War II, Memoir
  • Bibliographic information: 227 pp., 37 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Contents

Eddie Fung has the distinction of being the only Chinese American soldier to be captured by the Japanese during World War II. He was then put to work on the Burma-Siam railroad, made famous by the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. In this moving and unforgettable memoir, Eddie recalls how he, a second-generation Chinese American born and raised in San Francisco's Chinatown, reinvented himself as a Texas cowboy before going overseas with the U.S. Army. On the way to the Philippines, his battalion was captured by the Japanese in Java and sent to Burma to undertake the impossible task of building a railroad through 262 miles of tropical jungle.

Working under brutal slave labor conditions, the men completed the railroad in fourteen months, at the cost of 12,500 POW and 70,000 Asian lives. Eddie lived to tell how his background helped him endure forty-two months of humiliation and cruelty and how his experiences as the sole Chinese American member of the most decorated Texan unit of any war shaped his later life.
Judy Yung is professor emerita of American studies at the University of California Santa Cruz. She is co-author of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940 and the author of Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco.

"A remarkable chronicle of a boy from Chinatown who in his journey through life acquires a wealth of insight and wisdom."
-Franklin Ng, California State University, Fresno

"An unusual and riveting contribution to Asian American history."
-Valerie J. Matsumoto, University of California, Los Angeles

Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Growing Up in Chinatown
2. A Chinese Cowboy in Texas
3. A Good Soldier
4. A Prisoner of the Japanese
5. A POW Survivor
6. Learning to Live with Myself
Chronology
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Reviews

"Yung [has] used the great strength of the sources-their personal warmth and vibrancy-to construct [an] enthralling, very human account of this neglected saga of American tragedy and triumph in World War II."
-Military History of the West

"The Adventures of Eddie Fung is a fascinating read that provides a fresh outlook on Chinese American history from a male perspective and a Chinese American perspective on twentieth-century U.S. history. His positive outlook, engaging style, and self-deprecating humor will appeal to general audiences."
-Journal of American Ethnic History

"[Eddie Fung's] story of harrowing adventures, one after another..is a fascinating book that will hold the reader's interest from the first page to the last..The Adventures of Eddie Fung is indeed an exciting and riveting contribution to Asian American history."
-Chinese American Forum

"Yung [has] used the great strength of [her] source-[his] great personal warmth and vibrancy-to construct an enthralling, very human account of this neglected saga of American tragedy and triumph in World War II."
-Military History of the West

"The story of Fung's life is engaging . . . . General readers and students of Asian American and military studies will find the book fascinating, with humor and sadness intertwined."
-Western Historical Quarterly

"Readers will find this charming account of Eddie Fung's life story. . . irresistible."
-Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"What a life! Eddie Fung was born in Chinatown, ran away from home to become a cowboy, became the only Chinese-American soldier to be captured by the Japanese in World War II, worked on The Bridge on the River Kwai, and even went on to marry the woman who interviewed him as part of a different book project. This tale of resourcefulness and heroism will find broad appeal with high school students and teachers."
-Judith Repman, PhD,, The American Association of School Librarians, 2008

"Fung's memoir provides a compelling and much-needed account of a Chinese American life in the twentieth century."
-International Examiner

"Eddie drew on his past life experiences to endure incredible hardships, while treating each new adversity as a learning opportunity for survival. Judy Yung has done a superb job editing Eddie's reminiscences - she and he proved to be such a great team that they got married in 2003!"
-Asian American Comparative Collection

"Reading Eddie Fung's memoir, The Adventures of Eddie Fung: Chinatown Kid, Texas Cowboy, Prisoner of War, one marvels at Fung's gumption to attempt the outrageous, his ability to survive incredible hardships, and his honesty, innocence, and curiosity. . . . Judy Yung, an American studies professor at U.C. Santa Cruz realized Fung embodied an oral historian's dream: a fantastic memory, a sense of humor, and a dedication to getting the story right."
-AsianWeek National