The Devil Soldier: The Story of Frederick Townsend Ward

The Devil Soldier: The Story of Frederick Townsend Ward

by Caleb Carr
     
 

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A courageous leader who became the first American mandarin, Frederick Townsend Ward won crucial victories for the Emperor of China during the Taiping Rebellion, history's bloodiest civil war. Carr's skills as historian and storyteller come to the fore in this thrilling account of the kind of adventurer the world no longer sees.

Overview

A courageous leader who became the first American mandarin, Frederick Townsend Ward won crucial victories for the Emperor of China during the Taiping Rebellion, history's bloodiest civil war. Carr's skills as historian and storyteller come to the fore in this thrilling account of the kind of adventurer the world no longer sees.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With Yankee self-reliance, penniless soldier-of-fortune Frederick Townsend Ward (1831-1862) from Salem, Mass., made himself indispensable to China's Manchu dynasty in its bloody crushing of the Taiping rebellion of 1859. Assembling and commanding a highly disciplined army of native Chinese soldiers in Shanghai, Ward was officially made a mandarin by China's rulers. ``In every sense a free-lance''--a questioner of authority, military doctrine and even of national loyalty--he became a Chinese citizen and in 1862 married Yang Chang-mei, daughter of his most loyal backer. He died in battle the same year; his wife survived him by just one year, apparently dying of ``extreme grief.'' In this sympathetic, solid biography, Carr ( Casing the Promised Land ) focuses on political and diplomatic history, portraying the adaptable mercenary as a harbinger of later efforts to open China to Western assistance. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The Taiping rebellion which swept over China in the mid-19th century may well have been the most destructive civil war in history. Of crucial importance in suppressing the rebels was the up-to-date military hardware and technical assistance provided by Western nations. Of less importance but perhaps of more interest to the general reader was the anti-Taiping aid rendered by mercenary armies. The greatest of these was a mixed force of Chinese and Filipino recruits commanded by generally rowdy officers from America and Europe. The organizational genius behind this so-called ``Ever Victorious Army'' was a Salem, Massachusetts adventurer, Frederick Townsend Ward. Ward's brief career--he died from battle wounds at the age of 30--is brought to life in this fascinating study based on contemporary sources, both English and Chinese. While narrowly focused on the military aspects of the rebellion, The Devil Soldier does succeed in capturing the color and chaos of the great rebellion. Recommended to general readers.-- John H. Boyle, California State Univ., Chico

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679761280
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1995
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
510,624
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Caleb Carr is a contributing editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History and the series editor of the Modern Library War Series. His military and political writings have appeared in numerous magazines and periodicals, among them The World Policy Journal, The New York Times, and Time. He currently lives in upstate New York.

From the Hardcover edition.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
August 2, 1955
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
Attended Kenyon College, 1973-75; B.A. in history, New York University, 1977

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