An American Missionary in China: John Leighton Stuart and Chinese-American Relations
Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 381 pages
This work traced the career of a seminal figure in twentieth-century Chinese-American relations. John Leighton Stuart began his work in China as a missionary in 1904. He moved on to head Yenching University, the leading Christian institution of higher leaning in China. During the Pacific War, Stuart was imprisoned by the Japanese.
When General George C. Marshall was sent to China by President Truman in 1945 to mediate peace between the Chinese Nationalists and the Chinese Communists, Marshall chose Stuart as Ambassador to help with that mediation and to look after American interests in China. Stuart was the last to hold that post before the Chiang Kai-shek government's move to Taiwan.
Shaw's research among materials in English, Chinese, and Japanese has produced a richly detailed examination of each phase of Stuart's life. Shaw presents Stuart as a Wilsonian idealist whose combination of liberal, situational values and nationalistic vision put him square in the middle, unable fully to support a Nationalist-led China and positing instead a Nationalist-Communist coalition that would favor the Nationalists and open the door to American influence.
Shaw concludes with a thoroughgoing analysis of Stuart's diverse roles as a missionary worker, a political activist, and a China watcher. His assessment of the factions at work in China and of the Marshall Mission is evenhanded, his treatment of Stuart both sympathetic and critical. This work will interest students of Chinese-American relations, the missionary effort in pre-Communist China, and the history of Chinese higher education.
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