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General Two Gun Cohen Of China
May 22, 2003 11:39 AM 8942 Views
(Updated May 22, 2003 11:39 AM)



There are two books called Two-Gun Cohen and both were suppose to be a biography. The first book was written by Charles Drags with a little help from Morris Cohen. It was a lot like the things I will tell you in the background part of this review.

The second or was more accurate except the Author said what happened in Edmonton had occurred in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was written by Daniel S. Levy in 1997. It was published by the St. Martin’s Press, (in New York City) and it has 379 pages.


When I moved to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada the story of Two Gun Cohen was a ledged. He said that he was born into a rich Family in the U.K. and because he was the black sheep his was sent into exile in Canada.

He lived in Edmonton for a while and made his money by gambling. He was very sympathetic to the Chinese who had been brought from China to build Canada’s two Railroads. The Chinese were all Men and as many as 25 of them lived in one small room.

He held fund raisers to help them move to nicer places. One Day Sun Yun Sen, (the Leader of China), came to visit Edmonton. He was introduced to Morris Cohen and was very impressed with him. He invited his to move to China.

At first Cohen refused but his gambling debts were so high he did go to China and became a General in Sun Yun Sen’s Army.

When he came back he was proud that he was a General. He wrote his memoirs and forgot to tell about a lot of things he did during his earlier years, his Wife and some of the things he did in China.


It is true that he was born in London but to a poor Family that lived in the East End and his Family was very poor.

In 1900 he was arrested for being a pick pocket and sent to Reform School. When he got out he moved to Canada. He wandered through the Western Provinces from Manitoba to British Columbia before he arrived in Edmonton.

He had a reputation of being a hustler, gambler and like to be with sleazy Women.

He did help the Chinese Community and meet Sun Yat Sen. He did get married during this time.

The reason he had to leave Edmonton was because he saw a the Chinese owner of a Gambling Den being robbed and when to defend him.

At that time there was a lot of anti-Chinese sentiment in the mostly while community of Edmonton and the Police were going to arrest him.

In 1922 he deserted his Wife and moved to China to become a body guard for Sun Yat Sen.

Although he never learned to speak Mandarin or any of the other Chinese dialects he did become a General in the Nationalist Army.

Sun Yat Sen had untiled the Nationalists and the Communists to fight against the Japanese.

The Chinese couldn't pronounce his name and because he wore two guns they called him Two Gun Cohen.

Morris Cohen becomes a real estate tycoon and an arms dealer. When the Japan invade China he spend some time in a Prisoner of War Camp, (in Hong Kong).

After the War China became a Communist Country and Cohen had back the Nationalist who were all living in Taiwan by then.

He returned to Canada and did find his Wife living in Montreal, Quebec. Ever year he told her he was invited back to China, (This was not true). He went to Hong Kong, (to visit his mistress).

She did allow him to live with her for a while but he still hadn't changed.

She asked him to leave and he went back to London to live with his Sister.


When he did both the leaders who were in Taiwan and China came to honour General Morris Abraham “Two-Gun” Cohen at his Funeral. It was the only time these Leaders were in the same room together!

This book gives you a look at what happened in China before and during WW II and that if you are a history buff you will enjoy it.

I have the hard copy book and paid $15.00 CAD for it. The ISBN# 0312156812


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Two Gun Cohen - Daniel S. Levy