Thursday, October 24, 2013


Please VISIT the website which is being loaded with new features like photo galleries. More to come as it is a work in progress.

The Making History Crowdfunding Campaign is going LIVE on October 26th!

Thanks for visiting! On October 26th, I'll be launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo called Making History: The Story of Su Beng. But you'll have to wait until 10/26 to see the pitch video.

In the meantime... check out this BLOOPER reel from the making of the pitch video.

Here's sneak peak of what I say in my pitch:

Most of my friends know two things about me-that I’m writing a book and that I’m Taiwanese. I believe in the power of personal stories to inform and educate. That’s why I’ve been working on the biography of Su Beng, lifelong Taiwan independence activist, historian and author of this three volume, 2,000 page book, Taiwan’s 400 Years of History. This book took about 18 years to write, and has influenced generations of Taiwanese activists and still continues do to so. Su Beng is a controversial, complex character, much like Malcolm X or Nelson Mandela. Through it all, the one thing that he has always been fighting for could be summed up simply as, the fight for social justice for the people of Taiwan. 

Well, I’ve decided that it’s time to complete this project and I’m giving myself three months to do it. I haven’t been back in Taiwan for over five years so I’ve decided to quit my job, and to take a self-imposed sabbatical to spend it in Taiwan to complete my research. Yes, it’s actually happening and I’m going through with it but I’ll need your help and support to push me to the finish line. 

This project is not just about telling the largely unknown story of Su Beng’s life, but in the bigger scheme of things it’s also about the story of Taiwan, the people of Taiwan. It’s about their struggle under a dictatorship that imposed one of the longest periods of martial law in world history. 

This project is about injustice and the very basic human need for freedom and for our voices to be heard. That is the story of Taiwan. That was the story of my parents. My father was a professor at the University of Alaska and a US green card holder when he married my mother in Taiwan. But she was not permitted to leave Taiwan with him by the government. They were separated for nearly a year with my father in Alaska and my mother in Taiwan.  What kind of a government would deny people this basic right to come and go as they pleased? This was the question in my child’s mind that was the root of all my curiosity. It’s led me to my years of work in the Taiwanese American community which in turn motivated me to embark on this project to shed some light on the situation in Taiwan.

Ebook Version of Taiwan's 400 Year History

Taiwan's 400 year History -an abridged English version of Su Beng's encyclopedic book, People of Taiwan’s 400 Year History (台彎人四百年史)

For some time I’ve thought that there should be an ebook version of Taiwan’s 400 Year History. This book is an extremely abridged English version of Su Beng’s encyclopedic book, People of Taiwan’s 400 Year History (台彎人四百年史), which is over 2000 pages long and written in Chinese. Actually, what I’d really like to one day see is a complete translation of Su Beng’s, People of Taiwan’s 400 Year History, since the English version is only a mere 160-something pages long in comparison. One day it will happen, but for now it would be good to make Taiwan’s 400 Year History more accessible by having an ebook version of it. Perhaps it could also be made available for print on demand, since it is now out of print. The crazy thing is that I’ve actually seen a copy of Taiwan’s 400 Year History for sale on for over 500 dollars!

Recently, I spoke to Su Beng about creating an ebook version of Taiwan’s 400 Year History. He not only gave me the go ahead to do this, but also suggested that I personally edit and revise it. 

The first thing that I’m thinking of revising is the book’s title. Su Beng used the term “400 years” to refer to Taiwan’s written, documented history, which began in the 1600s with the Dutch occupation. However Taiwan has a prehistory evidenced by archaeological findings that indicate Taiwan was inhabited by indigenous people thousands of years before any major Han Chinese migration in the 17th century.  Human remains dating back as far as 30,000 years ago have been found in Taiwan. So the title, Taiwan’s 400 Year History is a bit misleading because Taiwan’s history is actually more than 400 years long.

That being said here are some alternate titles that I’ve come up with:

400 Years of Taiwan’s History
Taiwan’s 400 Year Written History 
Taiwan’s 400 Years of Written History
Taiwan’s 400 Years of Documented History

What title would you vote for?

I’ll take suggestions for a new title for the revised ebook version.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hear Su Beng speak on September 20, 2013

Su Beng will be speaking on the topic: Why can't the Kuomintang be defeated? on September 20, 2013 at 7:00pm, at Cafe Philo in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Su Beng's July 2013 Facebook posts

During these past couple of months, especially in the month of July, Su Beng has been posting quite frequently on Facebook. It's sometimes hard for me to get them all translated. In some of his posts he really delves into political philosophy and theory, while others consist of a series of simple sentences, which are written in a style that makes me think these are things that Su Beng might say at a rally. I've picked one (from July 13) that I think summarizes what he has to say to the Taiwanese people and will translate it here:

Here is the complete post below along with English translation:

Were you born in Taiwan?

Did you grow up in Taiwan?

Are you living in Taiwan?

Do you love Taiwan?

Do you wish that Taiwan would improve and develop?

Have you ever thought about our Taiwan’s need to protect itself?

That’s the way it goes,

Have you ever thought about being enslaved forever?

Have you thought about whether it's good for Taiwan to be under foreign rule?

Have you ever thought about eliminating the Chinese Kuomintang with their nationalist philosophy hidden behind the Republic of China system?

Have you thought about whether it’s also good to be under the rule of the Chinese Communist imperialism?

不吧! 不! 不! 不! 不! 不! 不吧!
I suppose no! No! No! No! No! No! Absolutely no!

How about this!!!!!!

你何不站起來! 來做台灣民族英雄!! 來甲世界的人平坐企!
Why not stand up and be a champion of the Taiwanese people and to attain world class equality!

 Long live Taiwan!!!!

 Long live the Taiwanese people!!!!

The Taiwanese are the own masters of their fate!!!!

~Su Beng

This is Su Beng's current Facebook profile photo. The T-shirt he's wearing reads "大人大種"

The phrase "大人大種" on Su Beng's t-shirt can be translated literally as: great person, great stock. I've been told that this character for stock "種" basically means type; but, in this context of usage, it has the connotation of "having extraordinary courage to face great danger, fear and pain." I've also been told that in the context of someone Taiwanese facing his archenemy, namely the Chinese, these characters could be interpreted to mean: "I am a grown man and have done all kinds of things. I don't need anyone to boss me around."

Over the past few months Su Beng has been keeping busy, not only with speaking engagements about his book The Oral History of Su Beng (史明口述史) but by participating in a number of protests in Taipei. Su Beng and the Taiwan Independence Action motorcade have been out there en force for many of them.

Su Beng sitting on one of his Taiwan Independence Action motorcade propaganda trucks (July 27, 2013)

On July 27 civic organizations in Taipei protested against a cross-strait service trade agreement that was signed between Taiwan and China in Shanghai on June 21. According to this Taipei Times article published on July 28:

“President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) government did not consult with any industries or the legislature before signing the agreement,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told the rally held in Taipei.
National Taiwan University economics department chairwoman Jang Show-ling (鄭秀玲) said in a video shown at the rally that the Ma administration violated three principles in signing the cross-strait service trade agreement.
The signing lacked transparency throughout the process, it put commercial interests ahead of national interests by opening air, sea and land transportation and communication industries to China and the agreement is unequal, she said.
The Taiwan Independence Action motorcade arriving at the front of the Presidential Office in Taipei (August 18, 2013)

Then on August 18th there was the "Give the Country Back to its People, the 818 Mission to Tear Down the Government" protest rally organized by The Taiwan Rural Front (TRF).  August 18 was the one-month anniversary of the forced demolition of private homes in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔). The protest was scheduled to take place on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office. Protestors were seeking justice for victims, who’s homes had been torn down to build a science park. For three years the residents had been fighting to stop the demolition, but on the morning of July 18, while Dapu residents and civic groups were protesting in Taipei, four homes were demolished. You can read a detailed account of what happened on July 18 here:

Here are some more photos from the August 18 protest:

The Presidential Office in Taipei (in the distance)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Find Friend and Follow Su Beng on Facebook

As anyone can see from Su Beng's Facebook status updates and newsfeed, he has been extremely busy with book signings, lectures and appearances since the release of the book  史明口述史, which translates as The Oral History of Su Beng.

Later this month he has two speaking engagements on April 28 and April 29.

Here's the poster with details for the April 28th event:

 Here's the poster with details for the April 29th event:

From his Facebook status I learned that he had fallen on April 25th. I was quite concerned when I heard this, but he's fine and intends to still make it to both speaking engagements.

If you'd like to know what Su Beng is up to, friend or follow him on Facebook by clicking here.