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Jay Taylor Finds Rehabilitating Chiang Kai-shek's Reputation No Small Task

Jay Taylor Finds Rehabilitating Chiang Kai-shek's Reputation No Small Task Features Jay Taylor. The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. xiv, 722 pp. Hardcover $35.00, isbn 978-0-674-03338-2. Jay Taylor's highly positive portrayal of Chiang Kai-shek rests on two pillars. First, Taylor draws heavily from Chiang Kai-shek's diaries where he finds evidence that Chiang crafted remarkably successful policies to cope with the problems facing China. From the diaries, Taylor draws the conclusion that Chiang was a man of great intelligence and strategic insights that he used to sustain the Nationalist Party throughout his life. Second, Taylor gives special attention to Sino-American relations from the late 1930s and finds that Chiang understood more clearly the terms of that relationship than did American representatives in China as well as officials in Washington, DC. Taylor concludes that Americans involved in China, including most presidents, lacked an understanding of China. In Taylor's view, Americans were short-sighted and ignorant of the underlying forces that Chiang correctly understood. Taylor attempts to reverse a long list of failings that historians have attributed to Chiang Kai-shek. Various authors have seen Chiang as a remote and unfeeling autocrat, an advocate of fascist-style modernization, a wily manipulator of rivals and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Jay Taylor Finds Rehabilitating Chiang Kai-shek's Reputation No Small Task

China Review International , Volume 17 (1) – Mar 1, 2010

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9367
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Abstract

Features Jay Taylor. The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. xiv, 722 pp. Hardcover $35.00, isbn 978-0-674-03338-2. Jay Taylor's highly positive portrayal of Chiang Kai-shek rests on two pillars. First, Taylor draws heavily from Chiang Kai-shek's diaries where he finds evidence that Chiang crafted remarkably successful policies to cope with the problems facing China. From the diaries, Taylor draws the conclusion that Chiang was a man of great intelligence and strategic insights that he used to sustain the Nationalist Party throughout his life. Second, Taylor gives special attention to Sino-American relations from the late 1930s and finds that Chiang understood more clearly the terms of that relationship than did American representatives in China as well as officials in Washington, DC. Taylor concludes that Americans involved in China, including most presidents, lacked an understanding of China. In Taylor's view, Americans were short-sighted and ignorant of the underlying forces that Chiang correctly understood. Taylor attempts to reverse a long list of failings that historians have attributed to Chiang Kai-shek. Various authors have seen Chiang as a remote and unfeeling autocrat, an advocate of fascist-style modernization, a wily manipulator of rivals and

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 1, 2010

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