Eugene William Levich was raised in New York City. He graduated from Lakemont Academy (near Watkins Glen, New York), received his BA in history at Adelphi College (now University), his first MA at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), concentrating in Asian Studies, and his second MA and Ph. D. from the Department of Far Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. He spent one year studying at the Inter-University Chinese Language Center (AKA “the Stanford Center”) at National Taiwan University and another year in dissertation research at the Nationalist Party (Guomindong) Archives. His research also included work at the Public Records Office in London, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and a number of other locations. He has received many scholarships, fellowships, and other academic honors.
After completing his doctoral course work, and with a growing family, he required employment while preparing for his doctoral exams and writing his dissertation. His first teaching position, in French language, was in New York City. He later taught history and social studies for non-English speakers at the high school serving New York City’s Chinatown. An avid trout fisherman and fly tier, he finally accepted a position at Liberty High School in Sullivan County, New York, a few minutes from famed Junction Pool, confluence of the Beaverkill and Willowemoc Rivers, and minutes away from the Neversink and Rondout Rivers.
His doctoral dissertation, Mobilization and Reconstruction in Kwangsi Province, 1931-1939, at 576 pages, possibly the longest ever accepted at the University of Chicago, required translation of hundreds of Chinese language sources, and took eleven years to complete. It was recommended for publication by his dissertation committee, and appeared in book form as The Kwangsi Way in Kuomintang China, 1931-1939. After reading many years’ worth of Chinese philosophy and poetry, he adopted a Taoist view of happiness, and decided, after receiving his Ph. D. degree, to remain living in the beautiful, natural world of the Catskills. He remained at Liberty High School for over thirty years, where he taught history, economics, government, and Chinese language. Appalled by the inadequacy of education offered to students at Liberty, typical of American education, he led a faculty revolt leading to a complete change in administration. After retirement, he wrote A Teacher’s Odyssey through the Incompetence of American Public Education: An Exposé and A Solution to the Problem, which presented a tax-free plan to make America’s failed educational system the best in the world, rather than just the most expensive. He remains a strong advocate of educational reform.
Eugene William Levich now lives in Florida where he fly fishes for bass, and where he wrote China Watcher, “a scholarly insider’s look at China . . . its customs, history, politics, cuisine, love live, literature and art, philosophy, and much more.” He currently is completing a book of short stories, dealing largely with racism in America, ethnic conflict in the Middle East, the Holocaust, and with accounts based on his experiences as a U. S. Marine infantryman. He is also preparing a book of poetry: both original and translations from Chinese, French, and Spanish.