Upstream Odyssey

My fourth book, Upstream Odyssey: An American in China, 1895-1944 (EastBridge Books, 2008), is a biography of my grandfather.  It traces the life of a Protestant missionary, Daniel W. Crofts—for whom I was named.  He worked for the China Inland Mission (CIM) from 1895 to 1944.  He arrived in China as the missionary tide was rising and stayed until it ebbed, half a century later.  He was based after 1904 in Guizhou Province, part of southwest China’s remote interior.  A slow two-month journey upriver separated Guizhou from the coast—and from the world beyond.  Daniel Crofts witnessed the continuing rhythms of daily life during a time of desperate poverty, political upheaval, banditry, revolution, and war.   His experiences illuminate in miniature a central thread of modern world history—China’s encounter with the West.