Skip to comments.The Final Triumph of Chiang Kai-shek (Book Review of "The Generalissimo")
Posted on 05/05/2009 4:09:15 PM PDT by mojito
Chiang Kai-shek ranks as one of the most despised leaders of the 20th century. Famously derided as "Peanut" and "General Cash-My-Check," the leader of China's Nationalist government bedeviled the Allied war effort in World War II with his lackluster defense of his country. His corrupt and brutal regime squandered billions of dollars in American aid and drove the Chinese into the arms of the communists. He died in exile a deluded despot, relegated to a footnote in modern Chinese history. Or so the conventional story goes.
Now, however, Jay Taylor's new biography, "The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China," challenges the catechism on which generations of Americans have been weaned. Marshaling archival materials made newly available to researchers, including about four decades' worth of Chiang's daily diaries and documents from the Soviet era, it torpedoes many of that catechism's cherished tenets. This is an important, controversial book.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Despised by commie Liberals, he means. Most Americans revered him during his war with Mao.
His diplomatic corps were capable Chinese patriots who manned embassies with little in resources.
“...the Chiang-Soong clan and their supporters have long been convinced that they and Chiang’s government were the victims of a demonization campaign orchestrated by the international left starting in the early 1940s. By the 1970s, the American right had also largely abandoned Chiang’s cause in its zeal to win China's support in the U.S. confrontation with the Soviet Union.”
Not this American Right-winger! I was and still am appalled at our virtual abandonment of Formosa/Taiwan in favor of the mass-murdering despots of Red China.
"...in its zeal to win China's support in the U.S. confrontation with the Soviet Union.The enemy of my enemy may still be my enemy...as has been proven with Red China over and over again.
I think it would be more accurate to replace “American right” in the quote above with “Henry Kissinger.”
I am a little ignorant about this subject. Didn’t Chiang Kai-shek have Mao on the ropes when FDR’s commie State Department sent Marshall to China to stop Chiang from finishing Mao off?
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
This tells me all I need to know, it's a liberal revision of history.
Uncle Joe managed to send Mao what he could, when he could, to keep his operation in business.
The book does gloss over a few things -- Chiang's tolerance of corruption and his role, in concert with his wife, in the infamous China Lobby, which helped jumpstart the notorious McCarthy witch hunts.
I thought that Chang Kai-Shek was a pretty good guy, a real patriot. Unfortunately, he was undermined by FDR and his good pal Uncle Joe Stalin, and then by Harry Truman, with Marshall acting as point man.
So, basically, the Commies who infested our government at that time threw China to Mao—and condemned unnumbered millions of Chinese to suffering and death, as well as destroying an ancient Chinese culture that had survived the Mongols and numerous other invaders over the centuries.
Whether China will ever recover from that disastrous betrayal remains a question. But it sure as hell wasn’t Chiang Kai-Shek’s fault.
Hmmm, corruption, bandits, and too much American [foreign] influence.. throw in horrendous human suffering from pollution, massive unemployment -- that's growing and growing, little or no social "safety net" (no more an iron rice bowl).. and what do you get?
Today's Red China. Ripe for revolution. Where's Mao when you really need him?
When Nixon brought two pandas back from Peking after visiting Mao, Rep. John G. Schmitz (R-Calif.) remarked that he didn't think the pandas were a fair exchange for Taiwan.
FDR’s communist friends in our government lost China. But of course, there WERE no communists in our government under FDR. Not in OUR history books!
Chiang’s new respectability in China mandates a respectful biography from an American leftist.
During the war Chang Kai-Shek and Claire Chennault (AVG "Flying Tigers" later 14th AF) were closed political allies... it was Vinegar Joe Stilwell always undermining Chang & Chennault to Washington and talking up Mao...
That would certainly be news to those who were there.
Yep! Nixon began putting the finishing touches on a job started by Johnson & McNamara.
Then the history revisionists began their work in earnest with reenforcement and support from the Dept of Government Schools and the leftist-controlled teachers union.
By the time the 90's rolled around, the job was complete.
Old Vinegar Joe Stillwell, was one of the best generals in WWII. He fought bravely against the Japs with hardly any supplies. His job was to beat the Japs. I do not blame Stillwell for this situation, he was just a soldier doing his job. I blame Roosevelt. Roosevelt was blind to the commie threat. Patton saw the writing on the wall, he knew that the war in Europe was not over with the defeat of the Germans. He told us to continue the fight against the commies. He warned us of what was to come and we are in trouble today because we did not heed his advise.
Chiang Kai-shek was caught between two enemies at the same time. Chiang could have defeated Mao, if he had help from the US. Unfortunately, The US did not take the commies seriously until it was to late.
Chiang’s men were bad. The communists were worse. And Chiang DID have the ability to beat the Communists, except communist sympathizers in our government withheld aid...because Mao ‘cared more’ about the poor.
For a TRULY great Chinese leader (albeit in the diaspora), may I suggest you look up Lee Kwan Yew sometime. Far superior to anyone associated with the KMTG.
I believe that Stillwell was given orders from FDR to favor Mao. FDR was the guy who was doing the will of Stalin and cozying up to Mao.
Finally, FDR went too far, and Chang demanded that Stillwell withdraw from China. But Stillwell was only doing what FDR commanded him to do—the last straw being the demand that Chang should hand over all of his forces to Stillwell.
My Dad met Chiang in the 60s. He had nothing good to say about him either - but Chiang didn’t kill millions of Taiwanese!
He didn’t have a lot of other options, besides just dying.
The left destroyed his reputation.
“That would certainly be news to those who were there.”
The friction between Stilwell on one side and Chang Kai-Shek and Claire Chennault on the other is pretty well known
Strange Bedfellows: Chiang and Stilwell
Antithetic American Experiences in China: Stilwell and Chennault
Though Chiang made him an allie to US in WWII, but I don't think US like him very much. Because when he was on the edge of defeat in war against Mao, Truman's government refused to give him a hand, they just stood by an watched whole China turned red. Not like the similiar situation in Korean about 3 years later.