: The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China (): Jay Taylor: Books. By Jay Taylor. Belknap. pp. $ Chiang Kai-shek ranks as one of the most despised leaders of the 20th century. Famously derided as. Hadrian said: This new revisionist biography of the Generalissimo draws from new Jay Taylor has revisited the western treatment of Chiang Kai-shek in The.

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Is the Generalissimo a good man? Taylor has taken a fresh look at his long, eventful life based on new sources, and suggests a controversial but persuasive new reading of Chiang’s motives and actions. After reading both accounts as well as Mitter’s in Forgotten Ally I have to say that Pakula’s which is also the “conventional wisdom” from US reports at the time is not convincing.

I thought this book was over-rated and that the author spent too much time trying to talk us into believing that Chiang was at heart a good man Aug 19, The Book: Henceforth, to you follow the development of events on the mainland under Mao’s communists?

A must read for anyone who loves history. It is the first biography to make full use of the Chiang family archive. Drawing on new material, years of interviews with the dwindling number of those with first-hand memories of the Chiang family, and scrutiny of Chiang’s voluminous diaries, Taylor reveals a much more interesting and despite his stiff exterior, frequently adaptable Chiang This biography is gemeralissimo in nature, looking at Chiang’s actions with a critical, but favourable light, and chronicling the decisions he made based on personal prejudice, political realities and the necessities of survival.


Furthermore it refuses to assign culpability for his mass purges and use of the Green Gangs earlier on, but becomes more critical in the Taiwan era. This controversial figure, Chiang Kai-Shek, who is said to “have had everything in his hands and still lost China to the commies”, kept loyal to the Western world and the Allies, including the US, even when he was faced with betrayal. This book is heavy going but grneralissimo the end very satisfying.

Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. It gave a really comprehensive overview of Chiang life in an interesting way skipping the boring ‘growing up’ part and the nearing of his death.

East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. This was a damn good book. The book is massive – weighing 1.

The Generalissimo — Jay Taylor | Harvard University Press

In short, highly recommended. I became curious about the two men early from my childhood.

Dec 17, David rated it liked it Shelves: It is, for better or worse, extremely detailed, lengthy, and completely uncritical. Oct 25, Brian rated it really liked it. The rise and fall of Chiang Kai-shek, the man who took on the insurmountable task of managing an unmanageable country, to fight the monsters of modern war machines with foot soldiers, to unite the broken spirits of a billion souls, is detailed like never before with a creditable author who aligns the stories of various historical sources with Chiang Kai-shek’s own – his famous dairy.

The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-Shek and the Struggle for Modern China by Jay Taylor

Although this book is relatively without nuance in its support and condemnation of various figures, it does note that the G-mo often had to deal with losing positions and had to negotiate from a position of weakness. Fighting to keep his nation united, first against the raging warlords, then with the invading Japanese, then against the growing armies of Mao, he remained humble in his views and opinions.


Even though his Nationalist government was acting in a way that was not nearly democratic, the changes introduced by Chiang and his son spurred the economy of Taiwan and allowed taylo the establishment of a truly democratic, highly developed nation.

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China. Email alerts New issue alert.

The digital Loeb Classical Library loebclassics. Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Every other book that I have read on this topic has gone with the former.

The Generalissimo

A very enjoyable, fascinating read. I picked up this book when it was first released, and after making my way 75 pages in, I put it down again. In the established narrative of modern China’s founding, Sun occupies the pinnacle of the triumvirate, the diverging successors below comprising Chiang Kai-shek the leader of the Nationalists and Mao Zedong the leader of Communist revolutionaries.

In May, Kill Il-sung began moving his tanks and elite infantry units toward the border with South Korea. This is the most thorough inquest on the Generalissimo so far.