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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Asia / China
  • Language:English
  • Pages:221
  • eBook ISBN:9781937454180

Healing, Romance, and Revolution

Letters from an American Nurse in 1926 China

by Dennis Buckmaster and Carolyn Buckmaster

Book Image Not Available
Overview
Harriet Holbrook Smith (1897-1990) lived a life of adventure, education, world travel, professional accomplishment, long-lasting friendships, and more. “Hat,” as she was known, was widely loved and respected by students, colleagues, and medical professionals. She retired as the Dean of the School of Nursing, University of Washington. Healing, Romance & Revolution is a compilation of letters Harriet sent home to family and friends from Changsha, China in 1926-27, during her “tours of duty” with the Yale-in-China Program. Her keen observations and prolific pen provide a unique, first-hand view of a turbulent time in China - a time of political unrest, student uprisings, power struggles, and change. Hat was in the midst of these dynamics, developing herself, her worldview, and her understanding of humanity. Following Harriet’s death, her great-niece Carolyn gathered together the long-stored letters and, with her husband, Dennis, began the long, arduous task of scanning, transcribing, and organizing them, discovering along the way how this once “wild-eyed” student radical evolved into a respected leader. Torn between staying at home as the dutiful daughter, assisting her father in his medical practice, and setting out for China on the adventure of a lifetime, Harriett had chosen the latter - a decision aptly celebrated by readers interested in learning how a young, single lady of the twenties felt about healing, romance, and revolution. Carolyn and Dennis had the joy of spending many times with Aunt Hat so upon her death, it became a true labor of love to bring her words to life and to share their admiration for her. The collection doesn’t pretend to be an accurate historical record, but rather a young woman’s reflection of her times from her perspective. More important, it is a story of adventure and inspiration. illustrating her dedication to serving, her wit, her optimism, faith, hope, romantic nature, and even her entrepreneurial spirit.
Description
Harriet Holbrook Smith (1897-1990) lived a life of adventure, education, world travel, professional accomplishment, long-lasting friendships, and more. “Hat,” as she was known, was widely loved and respected by students, colleagues, and medical professionals. She retired as the Dean of the School of Nursing, University of Washington. Healing, Romance & Revolution is a compilation of letters Harriet sent home to family and friends from Changsha, China in 1926-27, during her “tours of duty” with the Yale-in-China Program. Her keen observations and prolific pen provide a unique, first-hand view of a turbulent time in China - a time of political unrest, student uprisings, power struggles, and change. Hat was in the midst of these dynamics, developing herself, her worldview, and her understanding of humanity. Following Harriet’s death, her great-niece Carolyn gathered together the long-stored letters and, with her husband, Dennis, began the long, arduous task of scanning, transcribing, and organizing them, discovering along the way how this once “wild-eyed” student radical evolved into a respected leader. Torn between staying at home as the dutiful daughter, assisting her father in his medical practice, and setting out for China on the adventure of a lifetime, Harriett had chosen the latter - a decision aptly celebrated by readers interested in learning how a young, single lady of the twenties felt about healing, romance, and revolution. Carolyn and Dennis had the joy of spending many times with Aunt Hat so upon her death, it became a true labor of love to bring her words to life and to share their admiration for her. The collection doesn’t pretend to be an accurate historical record, but rather a young woman’s reflection of her times from her perspective. More important, it is a story of adventure and inspiration. illustrating her dedication to serving, her wit, her optimism, faith, hope, romantic nature, and even her entrepreneurial spirit.
About the author
This is our first experience in producing a book, it being a labor of love. We are somewhat reluctant to being known as “authors,” except in a very broad sense. What we did is recognize a powerful story to be told through Harriet Holbrook Smith’s letters home from the 1920s China and compiled the letters into a book form. Having said that, our roles as “authors” follow: Carolyn Buckmaster is a great niece of Harriet (aka Aunt Hat) Carolyn is a homemaker, mother and grandmother. She spent her pre-children years mostly in retail merchandizing display for Nordstrom exercising her good sense of design, aesthetics and fashion. Post-toddlers years she worked as an instructional aide in Special Education serving severe and profoundly disabled children. Her major contributions to this publication are several, including scanning more than 450 photographs Aunt Hat took using, heaven only knows, what kind of camera. Carolyn turned these pictures into works of art. She was significant in selecting pictures to be reproduced in the book. Her other, great value, is proofing, editing and making suggestions regarding content and helping her borderline dyslectic husband through the technical aspects of formatting the book’s content. Dennis Buckmaster had the good luck (maybe sense) to marry Carolyn and join her family, including Aunt Hat, who was immediately a Dennis favorite, and matriarch of the extended Smith / McComb family. Dennis and Carolyn spent thousands of hours with this remarkable woman, never tiring of her stories, wisdom and wonderful presence. The bulk of Dennis’ work (30 years +) was in providing corporate outplacement services comprised of career guidance, coaching job finding and interviewing skills and generally walking clients through the challenges of job search. This work required designing and writing promotional pieces, class materials, and creating and overseeing the preparation of thousands of client resumes. Along the way Dennis mastered many computer, word processing, scanning, editing skills, and love for communicating complex ideas, plus many other skills essential to producing this book. Collaboratively, we are proud of this project - each complementing the other. We only hope we have captured more than just the base Harriet; but more of the essence. Her brilliance, humanity, adventure, and humor. The good news, we have four more years (1921 – 1924) of letters to share with you.
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