Tuesday, May 28, 2013
A Plain Sailorman in China: The Life of and Times of Cdr. I.V. Gillis, USN, 1875-1948
By Bruce Swanson et al Naval Institute Press 9781612511054 Hardcover 272 Pages July 2012
The late Bruce Swanson learned about Gillis while doing research and was so excited he undertook to write a biography. While handwriting the text, Swanson unfortunately passed away and left the work in the hands of friends who brought the work to completion.
Gillis was the first US Naval Attache in China, a sign of increased US diplomatic presence in China after the Boxer Rebellion and other events of the first decades of the 20th century.
The book details, in an easy to read fashion, life in the US Navy and China in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Marrying a Chinese woman, Gillis eventually most of the rest of his life in China, a period that included Japanese internment during the Second World War, until his death in 1948.
Congratulations of the writing team on this fine tribute to both Commander Gillis and the late Bruce Swanson.