Event Details

WHAT: An online talk by author Adam Brookes on his book Fragile Cargo: the World War II race to save the treasures of China's Forbidden City, moderated by Paul French, followed by Q&A (online)

WHEN: Sept. 7, 2022 Wednesday from 8:00-9:00 PM Beijing time

MORE ABOUT THE EVENT: RASBJ is thrilled to feature author Adam Brookes discussing his hot new book Fragile Cargo: the World War II race to save the treasures of China's Forbidden City . The talk will be moderated by Paul French, author of "Midnight in Peking". For a taste of things to come, here's an interview Paul did with Adam for the China-Britain Business Focus. Many of you have attended RASBJ's numerous events focused on the Forbidden City – and now's your chance to hear one of the most rollicking tales of all.

Here's how the publisher described this book: "1924: Two days before Christmas, a small and clandestine group of professors, curators, and historians made their way through the enormous gates and towering vermillion walls of Peking's Forbidden City, for centuries the home to the Chinese emperors.... [By the early 1930's], Japanese pilots [were] bombing Shanghai. In the increasingly vulnerable city of Peking, the Palace Museum's curator made a difficult and monumental decision: to safeguard the treasures, they would need to be evacuated.... What followed was an unbelievable and perilous journey through a vast country facing tremendous upheaval and conditions as varied as icy winter storms to boiling heatwaves. Now, the full story is finally revealed and the men and women who helped saved China's precious cultural history are given their due in this unforgettable book."

HOW MUCH: Non-members' access is RMB 100 per log-in. Entry is free for members of RASBJ and RAS branches. If you wish to join the RASBJ to attend this event, please sign up for membership at https://rasbj.org/membership/ at least 72 hours before the event.

HOW TO JOIN THE EVENT: Please click "Register" or "I Will Attend" and follow the instructions. After successful registration you'll receive a confirmation email with a link to join the event. If you seem not to have received it, please check your spam folder.

Members of partner RAS branches: RASBJ offers you free log-in as a courtesy. Please register at least 72 hours in advance to allow time for membership verification. You'll receive two emails from us, the first confirming receipt of your registration request and the second confirming your registration, with a link to join the event. Please check your spam folder to ensure you see all RASBJ emails.


  • Adam Brookes (Speaker)

    Adam Brookes


    Adam Brookes is a Canadian-born novelist and journalist. He is the author of several espionage thrillers, including "Night Heron", "Spy Games", and "The Spy’s Daughter". He worked for the BBC in Indonesia before becoming the BBC’s Beijing correspondent in China. He divides his time between Washington, DC, and London.

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  • Paul French (Moderator)

    Paul French


    Paul French is a British author. In addition to articles, interviews and podcasts about a range of subjects, he has specialised in books about modern Chinese history and contemporary Chinese society, including "City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir" and the best-selling "Midnight in Peking".

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