Sunday, February 23, 2014

Homer Lea

A shop on a mountainside in Miaoli.

An acquaintance today by chance alerted me to the fact that Homer Lea is interred in Beitou (google map link)(Thanks Russ!). I also never realized he was closely connected to the founding of the ROC. Wiki:
Homer Lea (November 17, 1876—November 1, 1912), was an American adventurer and author. He is today best known for his involvement with Chinese reform and revolutionary movements in the early twentieth century as close advisor to Dr. Sun Yat-sen during the 1911 Chinese Republican revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. Homer Lea was also a prolific author, writing books about China and geopolitics.
Lea was known to me because I'm a Pacific War buff and his book The Valor of Ignorance was one of the first serious predictions of the war between Japan and the US and in part, its eventual course. Wiki says:
Lea’s second book, The Valor of Ignorance, examined American defense and in part prophesied a war between America and Japan. It created controversy and instantly elevated his reputation as a credible geo-political spokesman. Two retired U.S. Army generals, including former Army Chief-of-Staff Adna R. Chaffee, wrote glowing introductions to the book, which also contained a striking frontispiece photograph of Lea in his lieutenant general’s uniform. The book contained maps of a hypothetical Japanese invasion of California and the Philippines and was very popular among American military officers, particularly those stationed in the Philippines over the next generation. General Douglas MacArthur and his staff, for example, paid close attention to the book in planning the defense of the Philippines. The Japanese military also paid close attention to the book, which was translated into Japanese.
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