Foreign Policy Digital

China Is Burning Books Again

Censors are on the lookout for political mistakes—even in print runs for foreigners.

The year is 1925, and Shanghai is in flux. Communists, Nationalists, and Triad gangsters are all fighting for control of this vice-laden city, and one “preeminent bon vivant,” Victor Sassoon, is fighting to keep evil at bay. Almost a century later, however, on China’s south coast, Sassoon is burnt to a crisp, a victim of the government’s ever-tightening restrictions on the imaginative world.

Victor Sassoon was a —but he’s also the hero of The Sassoon Files, a roleplaying game supplement (think Dungeons and Dragons) designed by Jesse Covner and Jason Sheets, two Americans living in Japan. Last week, via a , Covner broke the news to their 511 followers—who had crowdfunded $24,183 to make the book

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