Madame Chiang Kai-Shek: China's Eternal First Lady

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Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 557 pages
Madame Chiang Kai-shek is the first biography of one of history's most intriguing and controversial political figures. Beautiful, brilliant, and captivating, Madame Chiang Kai-shek seized unprecedented official and unofficial power during China's long and violent civil war. She passionately argued against Chinese Communism in the international arena and influenced decades of Sino-American relations and modern Chinese history. In a life that spanned the twentieth century (1898-2003), Madame Chiang was inextricably entwined with China's tempestuous evolution from the imperial Qing Dynasty to the end of colonialism in Hong Kong. Raised in one of China's most powerful families--the Soongs, subject of Sterling Seagrave's best-selling book The Soong Dynasty--and educated at Wellesley College, Soong Mayling went on to become wife, adviser, interpreter, and propagandist to Nationalist leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. During the long struggle that erupted between Nationalists and the Communists after the death of Sun Yat-sen, Mayling was pitted against her own sister, Ching Ling, Sun's pro-Communist widow. An international crusader who continued speaking out against Communism well into her nineties, Mayling sparred with Churchill and Roosevelt and impressed Westerners and Chinese alike with her acumen, charm, and glamour. But she was also decried as a manipulative "Dragon Lady," and despised for living in American-style splendor while Chinese citizens suffered her husband's brutal oppression. Madame Chiang embodies the complicated dialogue that has shaped twentieth-century relations between China and America. The result of years of research including access to previously classified CIA, Taiwanese, and diplomatic files, Madame Chiang Kai-shek objectively evaluates the legacy of the one of the most powerful and fascinating women of the twentieth century.

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MADAME CHIANG KAI-SHEK: China's Eternal First Lady

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A well-balanced biography of one of the most powerful women in Chinese history, Madame Chiang Kai-shek (née Soong May-ling), wife of Nationalist leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.Li, a writer for ... Read full review

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