Paperback / softback
October 7, 2013
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.78 Inches (US)
1.08 Pounds (US)
$38.99 USD, £24.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Remarkable Chester Ronning

Proud Son of China

Scholar and diplomat Brian L. Evans gives us the first English-language biography of Chester A. Ronning (1894-1984): diplomat, politician, educator, and one of Canada's major public figures. This fascinating story depicts Ronning, the man who received many honours, and deepens readers' knowledge of Canada's post-World War II diplomacy and Canada-China relations. Ronning was an extraordinary Canadian who combined Chinese sensibility with Norwegian calm practicality and American drive. His life journey was entwined with the history of China over many decades. Based on written materials, historical documents, and many hours of interviews with Ronning, his friends, and fellow politicians, The Remarkable Chester Ronning offers both a thorough and entertaining biography and a lens through which to view international politics.

About the Author

Brian L. Evans, CM, studied Chinese and Chinese history at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and later served with the Canadian Embassy in Beijing. He was Professor of Chinese History at the University of Alberta (1961–1996). In his retirement, Brian Evans devoted himself to recording and preserving the stories of Alberta's Chinese pioneer immigrants. He lived in Edmonton until his death in 2016.


"...U of A historian Brian Evans has written a biography of this exceptional Canadian, published by the U of A Press-The Remarkable Chester Ronning: Proud Son of China. Some 30 years in the making, the book is based largely on interviews with Ronning in 1980." Geoff McMaster, University of Alberta, January 3, 2014 [Full article plus video at]

"Ronning was indeed a man far ahead of many in his time. Against the common wisdom of Canadian and American foreign policy during the fifties and sixties, Ronning was a strong advocate for the recognition of Red China as it was known in those days. He was recognized for his diplomatic skills with several foreign postings, and was heavily involved in attempts to get America and Vietnam to the peace table-well before Nixon had similar inclinations leading to the end of that difficult war and his visit to China in the early 1970's. Ronning was well-loved and respected in China.." Wayne A. Holst, Anglican Church of Canada Continuing Education Plan, January 7, 2014 [Full article at]

" intriguing glimpse of China in turmoil and one Canadian's attempt to make sense of it all.... The Remarkable Chester Ronning is a deft and skillful biography..." Holly Doan, Blacklocks Reporter, February 1, 2014 [Full article at]

"Chester Ronning (1894-1984) was indeed an extraordinary Canadian, an all-round public man.... Brian L. Evans, a professor of Chinese history and a former member of the Canadian embassy in Beijing, has produced a balanced, discerning and engaging biography." George Fetherling, Diplomat and International Canada, Spring 2014

"Brian Evans, a former diplomat and respected scholar at the University of Alberta, has written a portrait of Ronning that is both personal and professional. Evans draws from family letters, official records, interviews, and academic comments. He has assessed Ronning's life with care, avoiding excessive claims but giving credit for substantial contributions. While Evans' book is a biography, it presents a succinct overview of the political movements that reshaped China during the past century. Evans writes with clarity and authority, providing a fascinating study for students of Canadian diplomacy and for readers interested in modern China."—Victor Rabinovitch, Canada's History Magazine

"[Chester Ronning] became active in Alberta politics and saw service in the RCAF during the war. He finally got the chance to return to China in 1945 and remained there for two years, serving as Canada's ambassador. In 1954 he was appointed ambassador to Norway and Iceland and in 1957 he was high commissioner in India. He also served with delegations to the Geneva Convention dealing with Korea, Laos, and Vietnam.... As the author concludes, 'By any measure, Ronning was an extraordinary person who led an extraordinary life during extraordinary times.'"—Alberta History

9780888646637 : the-remarkable-chester-ronning-evans
Paperback / softback
336 Pages
$38.99 USD

Other Titles by Brian L. Evans

Pursuing China

Brian L. Evans
Feb 2012 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$38.99 USD - Paperback / softback

The Other Side of Gold Mountain

Brian L. Evans
Jun 2010 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$39.95 USD - Paperback / softback

The Lady Named Thunder

Clifford H. Phillips, foreword by Brian L. Evans
Oct 2003 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$38.99 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical

The Bizarre Careers of John R. Brinkley

R. Alton Lee
Jul 2022 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$19.95 USD - Electronic book text

The Man Who Started the Civil War

Anna Koivusalo
Jun 2022 - University of South Carolina Press
$89.99 USD - Hardback
$29.99 USD - Electronic book text
$29.99 USD - Paperback / softback