: The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China (): Jay Taylor: Books. By Jay Taylor. Belknap. pp. $ Chiang Kai-shek ranks as one of the most despised leaders of the 20th century. Famously derided as. Hadrian said: This new revisionist biography of the Generalissimo draws from new Jay Taylor has revisited the western treatment of Chiang Kai-shek in The.

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First balanced account of Chiang Kai-shek by a Western scholar.

George Marshall’s Unfinished War, Although Stalin had previously pledged to recognize only Chiang’s government as the true government of China, not to aid the communists and not to allow them to infiltrate Manchuria, in actual fact he did none of these. On the one hand, it is obviously the fault of Japan, since it was their war of aggression that weakened Chiang to the point that the communists could gain the upper hand. Second, although there is massive overlap with books on this topic I have already read, this book goes into so much more detail than any of those books that it is well worth the read.

The PLA had also assembled some junks and towable craft for the assault. Here, too, he was largely successful, allying himself and manipulating the US government into providing extensive military and economic aid to Taiwan and laying the groundwork for what would become the most successful model for Chinese democracy after his death.

He was also a dictator, killing political opponents and postponing democratic reforms for decades. Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. While anyone knows who Mao Zedong is, I doubt that even half of those people know who Chiang is and what his contributions to his own nation and to the world as a whole are.


Of particular note is the post-war history that Taylor narrates: Even though his Nationalist government was acting in a way that was not nearly democratic, the changes introduced by Chiang and his son spurred the economy of Taiwan and allowed for the establishment of a truly democratic, highly developed nation. A better knowledge not only of China’s twentieth-century history but also of its future is given on reading this.

Drawing on numerous newly-available Chinese sources from the National Archives in Taiwan including Chiang’s personal diaries, Taylor provides a much more detailed and personal biography of Chiang.

taylof The real wonder of this book is that one of the major sources to which Taylor constantly turned were the diaries and journals of Chiang Kai-shek himself which were presumably only recently available. This new revisionist biography of the Generalissimo draws from new sources, most notably the man’s personal diary. One of the most momentous stories of the last century is China’s rise from a self-satisfied, anti-modern, decaying society generaliswimo a global power that promises to one day rival the United States.

The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-Shek and the Struggle for Modern China by Jay Taylor

What I learned from this book, from Chiang is his strong will and tactics to manage crisis, his belief and love for the country. He did genuinely convert to Christianity, and added a neo-Confucian code to it.

What would China be like if Jiang Jieshi had won and not Mao? When in retrospect we take into account the relative political stability and economic prosperity experienced by Taiwan since the s, Taylor believes that the extraordinary measures taken by Chiang during the s could be forgiven.

May 24, Rob Hocking rated it it was amazing. To view it, click here.

The Generalissimo

Through luck and substantial political skill, he managed to defend the island from what seemed like certain defeat by a vast, well trained Communist army. At least he didn’t kill 40 million folks like Mao. He had a savvy grasp of international politics, predicting almost to the month when the Japanese would invade.


These diaries along raylor TV Soong papers at the Hoover Institute, other papers at the Russian State Archives, and many interviews with Chiang’s family members, associates, and others allowed Taylor to revise the negative image of the Generalissimo as dictator into a man primarily concerned with the national unity and creation of a strong central government that his fellow Nationalists would defend willingly.

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The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-Shek and the Struggle for Modern China

China had a turbulent History, living the first half of the century in war, and war accounts are usually told by the winner. It presents a revisionist history of Chiang Kai Shek, that he was not the bumbling loser that he was presented in contemporary media in the US. No trivia or quizzes yet. Jan 28, Lauren rated it it was amazing.

It is a sober and even work, evening out the hagiographical and jaj demonizing tendencies that many historians alternatively harbor about Chiang’s long and often controversial rule. I had to learn more about the recent history of Taiwan and it is a work in progress for me.

The writing style is a bit mechanical. The Soviet Union not only allowed the Chinese communists to infiltrate Manchura, they also heavily armed them – partially with recently captured Japanese arms, and partially with Soviet arms.