Books and Films

My second book (click the cover for link to Amazon page) will be published in March 2014:

Below is my first book, published in 2010, now available on kindle as well as paperback (click book cover image to access Amazon page):


I work with the following agencies to lead guided tours of Shanghai, usually with a historical focus.  These include my "Musical History Tour" otherwise known as my "Jazz Tour" of the French Concession, and my "Revolutionary Tour" of the French Concession and others.  To book a tour please contact one of the following agencies or else write to me directly at

Context Travel: contact  sophie[at]

Far East Expeditions, contact: cindyshi70[at]

Shanghai Flaneur, contact:  ychu[at]

Shanghai Community Center, contact:  Jenny Zhu:

Imperial Tours, contact:  valeria[at]


This documentary film, co-produced with Willmountain Films in Shanghai, has screened at film festivals worldwide.  We are still searching for a distributor for this epic piece of rock history in China.  For more info contact me at andrewdavidfield[at]


More on the Shanghai Art Deco Weekend

Joshua Cartwright published a nice article on the Art Deco Weekend, which included mention of my talk on the Paramount Ballroom.  He also described the walking tour led by Spencer Dodington.  I attended that tour as well.  Here are some photos from Spencer's tour:



"The Beautiful and Damned:" Including a Review of Mu Shiying: China's Lost Modernist

Here's a link to a review of my book on Mu Shiying by Maura Cunningham, published on the LA Review of Books blog site:



Shanghai Art Deco Weekend: A Talk on the Paramount Ballroom of the 1930s

Last weekend, on November 2, I gave a talk to a select audience for the Art Deco Weekend organized by Patrick Cranley.  Below is the schedule for the event.  Afterwards I accompanied many of the audience members on a walking tour with Spencer Dodington, who led us on a tour of the old buildings of the Jing'an District, starting at the Paramount Ballroom.

I recorded my talk and made a video by adding the slides I showed as well as some footage I shot in 2012 of a dance party at the Paramount Ballroom.  

Below is the schedule of events for the Art Deco Weekend.


Sat, Nov 01        11月01日

10:00am    Historic Preservation in Shanghai

                  Prof. Ruan Yisan, Tongji University

11.00am    Laszlo Hudec: The Race Course Buildings

                  Virag Csejdy, Curator, Hudec Heritage Project

12:00pm    Lunch – Jinjiang Metropolo Classiq YMCA

1-3:00pm   Around the Race Course - walking tour

6:00pm      Art Deco Cocktails

Special Art Deco-era drinks on offer at the Glamour Bar for only RMB 58


Sun, Nov 02        11月02日

10:00am    Shanghai Art Deco Design

                  Karolina Pawlik, University of Silesia / Shanghai University

11.00am    Shanghai’s Art Deco Nightclubs

                  Dr. Andrew Field, author of Shanghai’s Dancing World

12:00pm    Lunch – Jinjiang Metropolo Classiq YMCA

1:00pm     Art Deco along Bubbling Well Road - walking tour

6:00pm     Art Deco Cocktails



Another review of Mu Shiying

I just received news of a very favorable review by Frederik H. Green of my book, Mu Shiying:  China's Lost Modernist, for the e-journal MCLC.  The review may be found on this web page.

Time to celebrate with a night on the town, once I've recovered from this head cold I caught whilst on a company retreat in Moganshan.  James Farrer is in town now, and we have some more follow-up research to do for our upcoming book, Shanghai Nightscapes!


The recordings of Whitey Smith, the Jazz-Man who Taught China to Dance

Whitey Smith was one of Shanghai's most cherished jazz bandleaders during the 1920s and 1930s.  His autobiography, I Didn't Make a Million, tells his story.  In a nutshell, as a young jazz drummer, Whitey was "discovered" in San Francisco by the nightclub owner Louis Ladow in 1922, and agreed to sail to Shanghai to form a jazz band to play in Ladow's new club, the Carlton Cafe.  When the club folded he got work playing at the Astor House and later at the Majestic Hotel after in opened in 1925.  It was at the Majestic Hotel ballroom that Whitey taught China to dance (in the words of Pearl Buck) by incorporating Chinese folk elements into his repertoire, and by simplifying the complex harmonies and orchestrations of his tunes.  

He also recorded his own songs.  "Nighttime in Old Shanghai" is his most well-known song, which is available on an album of "Oriental" jazz tunes.  Taking a newsreel from 1929, featuring Whitey's band performing in the garden of the Majestic Hotel to a group of elegant Chinese dancers, I added this song and put it up on youtube.

Recently I found a file online of his complete recordings (as known).  I do have one of his other recordings, "To a Wild Rose," but don't have any others.  Would appreciate if anyone knows where to find them.