... combines relentless on-the-ground reporting with a deep understanding of the city’s political, economic and social undercurrents ... Dapiran’s authoritative account weaves together vital context about the systemic problems facing Hong Kong ... The author uses flashbacks to link key moments of the protest movement with significant events and themes in Hong Kong’s recent history from the 2014 Umbrella Movement and demonstrations in 2003 against a proposed anti-subversion law. Dapiran’s style is energetic and vivid, transporting the reader to the middle of a riot police baton charge or a panicked, tear-gassed crowd, capturing the broad community support and new-found solidarity of the movement in a city that had a reputation for being cold and distant. (The smattering of typos throughout the book is one of the few giveaways of how quickly the book was produced) ... Some of the book’s most illuminating chapters explore how local and international companies addressed the age-old tension between profit and principle presented by the protests.
... an engaged and authoritative account of the movement – both the fire and the sparks that lit it ... With lawyerly precision, journalistic observation and a natural storyteller’s gift for pacey narrative, Dapiran covers the twists and turns of a story that became darker and more violent as the months wore on. He gets up-close without ever making himself the story.
Readers will appreciate how the author places the events of 2019 in the context of earlier episodes in Hong Kong’s history such as the 2014 Umbrella Movement and the 1967 riots ... This fascinating read is essential for anyone interested in the current affairs of Hong Kong, specifically, and China, generally.