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Marie Antoinette's Darkest Days
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American Goddess at the Rape of NankingAmerican Goddess at the Rape of Nanking

The Courage of Minnie Vautrin

Hua-ling Hu

Narrated by Karen Huie

Available from Audible

Book published by Southern Illinois University Press

The Japanese army's brutal occupation of the city of Nanking during the 1937 Sino-Japanese War is known, for good reason, as “the rape of Nanking.” As they slaughtered an estimated 300,000 people, the invading soldiers raped more than 20,000 women — some estimates run as high as 80,000. Hua-ling Hu presents here the amazing untold story of the American missionary Minnie Vautrin, whose unswerving defiance of the Japanese protected the lives of 10,000 Chinese women and children — at the eventual cost of her own — and made her a legend among the Chinese people she served.

Hua-ling Hu has taught Chinese language and literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she received a doctorate in history, and modern Chinese history at the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. She served as an editor of the Journal of Studies of Japanese Aggression Against China for six years. Her publications include three books and over eighty short stories, essays, and historical papers. In 1998 she received the prestigious Chinese Literary and Arts Medal of Honor in Biography in Taiwan for the Chinese language edition of her biography of Minnie Vautrin.


“Amidst the rape and carnage of the Nanking Massacre (1937-38), in which more than 300,000 Chinese were slaughtered by Japanese troops, a score of Western residents labored tirelessly to save the lives of Chinese trapped in the doomed capital. The name of Minnie Vautrin, an American missionary educator, is indelibly inscribed on this honor list of foreigners who saw China as their home and Chinese as their fellow humans. Vautrin, a Midwestern farm girl called to missionary service, devoted her life to the education of Chinese women at Ginling College, one of the better-known of scores of Christian colleges in China. In the cauldron of horror that Nanking became, Vautrin, a tower of moral strength, turned Ginling into a sanctuary for 10,000 women and girls, who honored her as their Goddess of Mercy. Hu tells Vautrin's inspirational story in spare but powerful prose. This book deserves a wide audience and belongs in every public and academic library. ”

Library Journal

“Hua-ling Hu has created a powerful, definitive biography of Minnie Vautrin, one of the greatest heroes of World War II. Meticulously researched and poignantly written, American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking describes how a courageous missionary defied the Japanese army to save thousands of Chinese lives—at the eventual cost of her own.”

—Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking

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University Press Audiobooks
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University Press Audiobooks