White Coolie – Ronald Hastain (1947) (1st ed)


White Coolie – Ronald Hastain (1947) (1st ed)


Title: White Coolie

Author: Ronald Hastain

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, 1947. First edition.

Condition: Hardcover, with dust jacket. Fair. Dust jacket with tears, some tanning and foxing to book, inscription to ffep. Text unmarked, binding tight. 303pp., app 8″ by 5″.

1 in stock

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From dust jacket:

Ronald Hastain has seen much of the Far East. The Japs kept him on the move. For him, the prisoner-of-war campy at Changi on Singapore Island was a stepping-off place for the dark hinterland of Siam, the jungle and the mountains. Then came the return to Singapore by that crazy scenic railway built at the cost of untold human lives to satisfy the demands of the Japanese High Command, and the voyage on a hell shil through typhoon and shipwreck to the Land of the Rising Sun. And here, on true Japanese soil, Hastain stayed in industrial slavery until August 1945 brought rescue by the American Air Force.

Through these long, enforced treks into the unknown, which make this record one of the most remarkable travel-books ever written, this British officer missed completely the deadly monotony suffered by most prisoners-of-war. He did not miss much else. Ex-P.O.W.s will recognise in White Coolie the very stuff of their experience, the stronger for being recorded so simply, without sensationalism and without vindictiveness. Unconsciously, Hastain has painted a self-portrait which shows him a natural leader, not unworthy to speak for them all.