Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45by Barbara W. Tuchman
Joseph Stilwell, military attache to China from 1935 to 1939 and commander of U.S. forces and Allied Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-shek from 1942 to 1944, was a man who loved China deeply, spoke its language, and knew its people as few Americans ever have. Using the life of Stilwell, Barbara W. Tuchman explores the history of China from the Revolution of 1911 to the turmoil of World War II, when China's Nationalist government faced attack from both Japanese invaders and Communist insurgents. Her classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the cantankerous but level-headed "Vinegar Joe" is both an account of American relations with China and the experiences of one of our men on the ground.
- Macmillan Publishing Company, Incorporated
- Publication date:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Shrewdly crafted story of China that covers the period from the Boxers to the Koumintang. It surveys a gamut of feckless U.S. policy of high hopes and strategic wavering. Amid all Stilwell--tough, terse and pithy--strives to keep China a key player in the WWII fight against the Japanese, and tries to shape U.S. policy as well. Books deftly blends the pre-Communism history of China through the prism of U.S. policy and strategy, with the story of Vinegar Joe Stilwell... a colorful but less well known figure than many other WWII generals. A great book for study of the key dilemmas facing politicians and generals, and how to function in a near impossible situation.
This book covers the fall of the Chinese monarchy in 1911 to the end of 1946. This is a fine instruction manual on how regime change can go bad. The Chinese peasants, or the 100 Man as they are called in China, groaned under the weight of a corrupt and dying caste system under Imperial dictates in China. When the imperial system abdicated in 1911, utter chaos reigned in its place. Enter a scramble by warlords, western powers, and Imperial Japan to supplant it. America was a bewildered bystander. We are so hoplessly optimistic, like Candide in the woods, that we think everyone is better off like us. Unfortunately we supported the corrupt Nationalist government against the communist. The leader of the Nationalist was CKS, a man who was hopelessly unprepared to deal with Mao Te Sung, and an admirer of Hitler. Stilwell was a good man in the middle. Our attempt at regime change failed in China because we paid money to the Nationalist and didn't expect results.Hopefully this book will help people understand China and the process of American supported regime change. Outside of out and out aggression to invade, we have never been successful at this regime change game.Recommended reading to every American, and all U.S foreign service personel.
Still the definative history of America's war in China.