BANGKOK -- At the outset of his award-winning career, American journalist Jonathan Kaufman found himself staring at the story of a lifetime. Fresh from college at 23, and working in Hong Kong, he was sent to Shanghai -- one of the first Western journalists allowed into China in the 1970s. It was the start of a lifelong study of China's modernization.
But it was not until decades later, working in Beijing as China bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal from 2002 to 2005, that a familiar but surprising shadow caught his eye. Connecting the dots helped him to produce his fascinating third book, "The Last Kings of Shanghai."