238 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1997 the CCP and GMD perhaps explains the obscurity into which his name has faUen. "The sad and ironic fact is that Shen seems to have been kiUed because he was perceived as too radical and too reactionary at fhe same time by the same party." The study of those forces that shaped personal identity in China--the famüy, friendships, and place of birth--and whose influence carried over into the political and social networks of revolution is a difficult task. Many of the changes described in this book are, as the author demonstrates, the result of contingencies, not ideology. Shen's Ulness at a critical point is one such example. Proximate events, not evolving phUosophical systems, shaped the personal choices of countless individuals, and produced the ultimate shape of the revolution. To ensure fhat Shen Dingyi is "once named, always known" wiU continue to be a problematic undertaking for those concerned with his life. He stiU cannot be named wifh certainty--and fhis is the true mystery. Katherine K. Reist University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Katherine K. Reist is an East Asianist, specializing in the history ofearly twentiethcentury China. Stuart R. Schräm,
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 30, 1997
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