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  • Reply to Niv Horesh
  • Donald A. Jordan

Why shoot the messenger?

Your rebutting arguments remind me of undergraduates who fail to see why their papers are being graded for clarity as well as content. How can your citing my research topics cancel out the issues I leveled at your new book? For instance, when you claim that I singled out a sentence as being long at some forty words, you missed in my comment that "some forty" referred to the number of words you used before you even reached the subject. Furthermore, this was only slightly more than half of that seventy-eight-word sentence. Check the grammatical use of the word "subject." When you cite as grossly long a particular sentence (from which of my monographs?), you apparently did not notice that the sentence was divided by a period into two sentences—a practice you should follow more often. In wording, less is generally more. The length of your book, including extensive footnotes and bibliography, is stated in the heading at the very beginning of my review as 256 pages. My scholarship, which really need not be a concern here, goes well beyond the 1931-1932 scope (of only one of my books) and extends from the era of the National Revolution in the 1920s through the War of Resistance and the Chinese Civil War in the 1940s. The "beautiful" banknotes to which I allude were produced by the Nanking government at least as early as 1928 and well before FDR's loan in 1933. In your formative years, you might try studying Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace by the University of Chicago's Joseph White. White teaches that readers best understand a relatively short and clear subject and verb sequence rather than forcing them to slog through a complex set of abstract clumps of nominalizations. Perhaps you missed having "Tiger Moms" among your mentors to prod you on [End Page 65] to polish your writing. In conclusion, you might have read my review more carefully. I credited you for using new archives and moving the discourse beyond the anti-imperialist rhetoric that too often discredits most Western influences as exploitive. [End Page 66]



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