This work presents Glenn F. Howell's diary from June 6, 1920, to September 23, 1921, during which time he commanded the naval gunboat USS Palos on the Yangtze River. First comes a biography of Howell, an overview of Chinese history 1800 to 1920, and a history of the U.S. military involvement in China during those years. Howell's time as commander of the USS Palos is divided into three sections. Preceding each, the editor comments on the nature of the upcoming diary entries. Howell covers a range of topics, including the Chinese people, various important locales (e.g., the Three Gorges), making official visits (his first as a captain), officer-enlisted man relations, opium, the steam navy, people who influenced him (S. Cornell Plant and Captain Joseph Miclo, skipper of the Meitan), missionaries and other foreigners in China (including U.S. military retirees), and trackers (China's human beasts of burden).
Glenn F. Howell served two full tours of duty on the old China Station in the interwar period. Dennis L. Noble is retired from the United States Coast Guard. A former librarian and adjunct college professor, he lives in Sequim, Washington.