The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia

The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia

by James Bradley


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"Bradley is sharp and rueful, and a voice for a more seasoned, constructive vision of our international relations with East Asia." —Christian Science Monitor

James Bradley introduces us to the prominent Americans—including FDR's grandfather, Warren Delano—who in the 1800s made their fortunes in the China opium trade. Meanwhile, American missionaries sought a myth: noble Chinese peasants eager to Westernize.

The media propagated this mirage, and FDR believed that supporting Chiang Kai-shek would make China America's best friend in Asia. But Chiang was on his way out and when Mao Zedong instead came to power, Americans were shocked, wondering how we had "lost China."

From the 1850s to the origins of the Vietnam War, Bradley reveals how American misconceptions about China have distorted our policies and led to the avoidable deaths of millions. The China Mirage dynamically explores the troubled history that still defines U.S.-Chinese relations today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316196680
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 05/03/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 400,732
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

James Bradley is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Imperial Cruise, Flyboys, and Flags of Our Fathers, and a son of one of the men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

1 Old China, New China 13

2 Win the Leaders; Win China 37

3 The Japanese Monroe Doctrine for Asia 51

4 The Noble Chinese Peasant 85

5 The China Lobby 133

6 The First Wise Man's New China 169

7 Washington Warriors 195

8 Secret Executive Air War in Asia 221

9 A War Over Oil 245

10 Asleep at the Wheel 275

11 The Mandate of Heaven 297

12 Who Lost China? 329

13 The China Mirage 363

Copyright Acknowledgments 373

Acknowledgments 375

Notes 377

Index 405

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The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 Bradley writes his opinions as fact and almost all of it is done with the advantage of hindsight.  Rarely does he lay out why the decisions were made with the facts at hand.  It is easy to blame someone for a wrong decision when you have 50 years of judgement on that decision.  Plus there are some glaring inaccuracies.  On page 330 for example, Bradley states TWICE that B-52's were used to bomb Japan.  However, it did a good job of exposing the China Lobby and Henry Luce.  By doing that, it earned 2 stars instead of 1.
ryeLee More than 1 year ago
Thank you James Bradley. I only wish that your book was mandatory reading for all Americans. I read it twice. Yes, America is exceptional, yet it does, however, have its evil side. To know America, one needs to know both stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The information in this book is consistent with others that have been written about Asia during the early to mid 20th century including Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest and The Coldest Winter as well as Neil Sheehan's book on Vietnam.  It traces the roots of American foreign policy regarding China and Asia generally back to the misperception of China by both the U.S. public and its leaders (primarily FDR). It documents how the leaders of China and their supporters in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century and after, referred to as the China Lobby, were able to take advantage of our willingness to believe in a largely fictional picture of China painted by its leaders, especially those educated in the U.S. The book seems well researched and documented, but the author does not hesitate to let the viewer know his views as well.  It is also a reminder of how American foreign policy came under the influence of the "domino theory" and the fear of Chinese and Soviet domination of Southeast Asia. It is written in an engaging style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Rudie-_N More than 1 year ago
I was shocked at the misuse of facts in this book plus the author draws his OWN conclusion as to the problems in China.  He does not back up his opinions with actual source documents and real, honest FACTS.  To say that those who made millions from the opium trade were Christians is not factual at all, no one can say what a man is on the inside of his heart and then "state it as fact".  I am really surprised that the author has taken such a liberal and broad view that is clearly his OWN and written the book as though it was and is truth.