Return to Home Page
The Homer Lea Research Center

Homer Lea:
American Soldier of Fortune
by Dr. Lawrence M. Kaplan

Selected Reviews


"An extraordinary contribution to the history of American-Chinese relations and the book belongs to libraries worldwide."
– Center for Research of Geopolitics

“An excellent biography of a largely forgotten but extraordinary man…. His fascinating life is well told in this biography.”
– Edward M. Coffman, author of The War to End All Wars: The American Experience in World War I

"Kaplan has encountered a difficult task, well accomplished...This book will be of value to those whose interests are in the areas of Sino-American relations, American adventurers, or the events leading to the Pacific War."
– Journal of Military History

"What we knew hitherto about the self-proclaimed 'General,' Homer Lea, was based on a jumble of often contradictory or problematic sources. Lawrence Kaplan cuts through the myths and offers a coherent and convincing analysis of Lea's actual connections with Chinese reformers and his role in the training of Chinese military cadets in the United States over a century ago. An intriguing tale."
-- Jonathan Spence, author of The Search for Modern China

"This book is probably as thorough a recounting of Lea's life as there will ever be....it will certainly inform, delight readers who enjoy learning how outsized personalities can impact their times and change history."
–-Journal of America's Military Past

"A full biography of a... western military dreamer with grand designs for China."
–Diplomat & International Canada

"The story of Homer Lea's involvement and adventures with Chinese reformers and revolutionaries both in the United States and China in the early-twentieth-century could come directly from a modern novel of international intrigue."
John T. Greenwood, editor of Normandy to Victory: The War Diary of General Courtney H. Hodges and the First U.S. Army

"Now largely forgotten, Homer Lea, from the late 1890s until his death in 1912 at a few days short of age 36, played a significant role in China’s revolutionary movement...this work stands as the first proper biography of this unusually interesting character."
--New York Military Affairs Symposium

Order Homer Lea: American Soldier of Fortunate through Amazon.com here

HOME