The Dragon and the Crown is a fascinating account of the twentieth-century history
of Hong Kong. Stanley Kwan is the master of the telling detail as he recounts the saga of his
extended family, torn between capitalist, colonialist Hong Kong and the Chinese Communist
revolution. Kwan's own odyssey is gripping as a survivor of the Japanese attack on Hong Kong,
wartime interpreter in mainland China for US troops, auto dealer, banker, creator of the
influential Hand Seng Index and, ultimately, target of Communist China's velvet-gloved attempt
to recruit sympathizers among Hong Kong's rich and famous."
Author of Red China Blues and Beijing Confidential
"This book makes an important contribution to Hong Kong's business history and provides an
insider's account of the often uncomfortable transformation of the Hang Seng Bank from an
old-fashioned currency and gold dealer into an outstanding financial institution. The author
is particularly impressive in his analysis of the contrasts between Chinese and Western business
cultures. Stanley Kwan also describes Hong Kong's special political strains, describing in
detail the way in which business leaders assiduously wooed their British rulers while carefully
cultivating mainland officials. The Dragon and the Crown offers a moving account of the
impact on the author and his extended family of China's political and economic turbulence in the
last century, which deserves to be widely read."
Author of Uneasy Partners and Profits, Politics and Panics
"Our lives today seem dull compared to those who lived through the war, and not only witnessed
but experienced the tussle between the Nationalists and Communists in the borrowed place of
British colonial Hong Kong. Political ideology has always been a divider even among family
members. Old heartaches come alive through the retelling of the personal stories in this book
to remind us of lost hope and the need to soldier on nevertheless."
CEO of Civic Exchange
"Who is Stanley Kwan? The creator of the Hang Seng Index...The Dragon and the Crown records the
thinking of the elites who controlled the Hong Kong economy from pre-war to the 1980s, and helps
us understand the Hong Kong economy during this period ... The book is a good source for those
interested in the economic, social and cultural development of Hong Kong..." (in Chinese)
Founder, Associate Publisher and Head of Research
Hong Kong Economic Times - Nov 22, 2008
"I am intrigued by how successive generations of Hong Kong's elites become engaged by
developments in China... [Stanley Kwan] was awarded the MBE by Governor Youde, but he continues
to care deeply for his motherland... Another point of interest is the early years of Hang Seng
Bank, including Kwan's job interview with Q.W. Lee and the bank run of 1965... (in Chinese)"
S M Tsui
Hong Kong Economic Journal - Dec 1, 2008
"The Dragon and the Crown brings me back to a Hong Kong of 40-50 years ago. I have personally
encountered or heard about experiences similar to those of Mr. Kwan and his family... This is
a most valuable book on the history of Hong Kong." (full review)
Senator of Canada - Dec 11, 2008
"Mr. Kwan's life is a compelling story, and he tells it well in this new biography with the
assistance of his niece, Nicole Kwan... In his memoir The Dragon and the Crown, it is clear the Chinese
dragon always won out over the British crown... On one level, Mr. Kwan had a wonderful career. He was a successful banker...
However, he was torn between two loves: for China and for freedom...
" (full review)
Wall Street Journal Asia - Feb 27, 2009