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"For her meticulous and fascinating study of the Slavs—Russians, Ukrainians, Poles—and Jews, who lived in Shanghai from the early 1920s until well after the Communist victory in 1949, Marcia Ristaino has made use of Chinese, Japanese, German, Russian, and English sources to describe the survival of a refugee community that at one time numbered over 50,000 people. . . . Ms. Ristaino has written a remarkable book. She describes well the lives of heroes, villains, spies, collaborators, prostitutes, and many other people simply doing their best to survive."—The New York Review of Books
"This is an academic book and possesses scholarly strengths . . . a thoroughly researched, impressive and sometimes fascinating piece of work, interwoven with themes that resonate to this day."—TIME Magazine, Asia
"In detail and with insight, Ristaino presents the arduous struggle that [two diaspora populations]—diverse in political belief, ethnicity, religion, and cultural tradition—fought to form communities, preserve their national identities, sustain their cultural individualities, survive poverty, educate and rear their young, and deal with the alien Chinese culture in Shanghai."—Choice
"Ristaino provides a fresh and valuable addition to the growing scholarship of diaspora histories."—Choice
"Ristaino has done an admirable job in research . . . .The work is a must-read for emigration historians, twentieth-century Chinese historians, and urban historians and would be appropriate for undergraduate students. It would definitely be appreciated by those who found refuge in Shanghai during the interwar years. By examining the neglected history of those two diasporas, Port of Last Resort adds to the urban history of Shanghai."—History: Reviews of New Books