Chiang Kai Shek: China's Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost

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Carroll & Graf, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 562 pages
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With a narrative as briskly paced and vividly detailed as an international thriller, this definitive biography of Chiang Kai-shek masterfully maps the tumultuous political career of Nationalist China's generalissimo as it reevaluates his brave but unfulfilled life. Chiang Kai-shek was one of the most influential world figures of the twentieth century. The leader of the Kuomintang, the Nationalist movement in China, by 1928 he had established himself as head of the government in Nanking. But while he managed to survive the political storms of the 1930s, Chiang's power was continually being undermined by the Japanese on one side and the Chinese Communists on the other. Drawing extensively on original Chinese sources and accounts by contemporaneous journalists, acclaimed author Jonathan Fenby explores little-known international connections in Chiang's story as he unfolds a story as fascinating in its conspiratorial intrigues as it is remarkable for its psychological insights. This is the definitive biography of the man who, despite his best intentions, helped create modern-day China.

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Chiang Kai-shek: China's generalissimo and the nation he lost

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Fenby (former editor, South China Morning Post; Dealing with the Dragon) relies on numerous journalistic anecdotes, the journals of Chiang Kai-shek's second wife, and the observations of Chiang's ... Read full review

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This was one of my only sources in the first few years of my research. Fenby's narrative is not quite as accurate as that in Taylor's biography. Taylor uses better sources, and a lot of new information has emerged recently from the CIA archives, and from Taiwan. Fenby's account of the Chinese Civil War has something to be desired, which I found in Taylor's work. 

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About the author (2005)

Jonathan Fenby is a former editor of the Observer and the SouthChina Morning Post, and is a former bureau chief in France for theEconomist and Reuters. He is the author of ten books, including theacclaimed biography Chiang Kai-Shek: China s Generalissimo andthe Nation He Lost and The Sinking of the Lancastria, which tells thestory of the greatest disaster in British naval history. He was madea commander of the British Empire and a knight of the FrenchOrder of Merit for services to journalism. He lives in London.

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