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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 30, 2013 08:11AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is a thread to discuss the Chinese Civil War.

"The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between forces loyal to the government of the Republic of China led by the Kuomintang (KMT) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The war began in April 1927, amidst the Northern Expedition and essentially ended when major active battles ceased in 1950. The conflict eventually resulted in two de facto states, the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China, both claiming to be the legitimate government of China.

The war represented an ideological split (Left vs. Right) between the Communist CPC, and the KMT's brand of Nationalism. The civil war continued intermittently until late 1937, when the two parties formed a Second United Front to counter a Japanese invasion.

China's full-scale civil war resumed in 1946, a year after the end of hostilities with Japan. After four more years, 1950 saw the cessation of major military hostilities—with the newly founded People's Republic of China controlling mainland China (including Hainan), and the Republic of China's jurisdiction being restricted to Taiwan, Penghu, Quemoy, Matsu and several outlying islands.

Westad says the Communists won the Civil War because they made fewer military mistakes than Chiang Kai-Sheck, and because in his search for a powerful centralized government, Chiang antagonized too many interest groups in China.

Furthermore, his party was weakened in the war against Japanese. Meanwhile the Communists targeted different groups, such as peasants, and brought them to its corner.

Chiang wrote in his diary on June 1948 that the KMT had failed, not because of external enemies but because of rot from within.

Strong initial support from the U.S. diminished, and then stopped completely partly because of KMT corruption, and partly because of the uncertain U.S. foreign policy towards Communism between 1945 and 1950.

Communist land reform policy, which promised poor peasants farmland from their landlords, ensured PLA popular support. After the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II, Soviet forces turned over their captured Japanese weapons to the CPC and allowed the CPC to take control of territory in Manchuria.

To this day, no armistice or peace treaty has ever been signed, and there is debate about whether the Civil War has legally ended.

Cross-Strait relations have been hindered by military threats and political and economic pressure, particularly over Taiwan's political status, with both governments officially adhering to a "One-China policy."

The PRC still actively claims Taiwan as part of its territory and continues to threaten the ROC with a military invasion if the ROC officially declares independence by changing its name to and gaining international recognition as the Republic of Taiwan.

The ROC mutually claims mainland China, and they both continue the fight over diplomatic recognition. Today, the war as such occurs on the political and economic fronts in the form of cross-Strait relations; however, the two separate de facto states have close economic ties.

Source: Wikipedia

English: NRA muslim soldiers. 回民支队正在练习刺杀.
Communist troops in the Battle of Siping.国共内战中东北战场四平战役中共产党军队阵地。

English: 1945 Chiang Kai-shek inspected Chinese soldiers with shoes made of straw.
English: 1930s Mao Zedong
English: Su Yu (粟裕), the 2nd from the left, was investigating the front field before the Menglianggu Campaign started.
This picture was taken at 1947, the copyright has expired.

Date: 12 April 1927 – 22 December 1936 and 31 March 1946 – 1 May 1950

Location: China


* Communist takeover of mainland China

* People's Republic of China established in mainland China

* Government of the Republic of China relocated to Taiwan

* Combat ended, but no armistice or peace treaty signed

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 30, 2013 08:18AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod


Republic of China

Nationalist Government

Nationalist Party
* National
* Revolutionary Army

Allied warlords

Then during the years of 1927 through 1949

Communist Party

* People's Liberation Army

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
The Chinese Civil War - (1945 - 1949)

The Chinese Civil War 1945-49 by Michael Lynch by Michael Lynch (no photo)


Out of the ashes of Imperial China arose two new contenders to lead a reformed nation; the Chinese Nationalist Party, the Kuomintang, and the Chinese Communist Party.

In 1927, the inevitable clash between these two political parties led to a bitter civil war that would last for 23 years, through World War II and into the Cold War period.

The brutal struggle finally concluded when Communist forces captured Nanjing, capital of the Nationalist Republic of China, irrevocably altering the course of China's future.

Dr. Michael Lynch sheds light on the cruel civil war that ultimately led to the establishment of the People's Republic of China.

message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Some maps of the Chinese Civil War:

message 10: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 35 comments Having been to Taiwan many times I can say that in the end I think Chiang Kai-Sheck did a lot for that country. While China was mired in a third world Cultural Revolution Taiwan was enjoying an advanced standard of living. Even as far back as 1965 Taiwan was a marvelous place and now they have all the amenities of the USA and then some.

message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Yes Ed I agree with you - right now I am setting up this thread so I do not have links and information from both sides. Taiwan is of course to be admired then and now - no disagreement here. Yes, I agree - I have friends of mine who are from Taiwan.

Thank you so much for your post and I hope you will add books (using citations of course) for the thread and that you post many more times.

message 12: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4350 comments Mod
Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1946-1950

Decisive Encounters The Chinese Civil War, 1946-1950 by Odd Arne Westad by Odd Arne Westad (no photo)


The Chinese Civil War was one of the key conflicts of the twentieth century. The Communist victory determined Chinese history for several generations, and defined international relations in East Asia during the Cold War and after. Despite its importance and scope—its battles were the largest military engagements since World War II—until now remarkably little has been known about the war, and even less about its effects on the societies that suffered through it. This major new history of the Chinese Civil War attempts to answer two central questions: Why was the war fought? What were the immediate and the lasting results of the Communists’ victory?

Though the book highlights military matters, it also shows how campaigns were mounted alongside profound changes in politics, society, and culture—changes that ultimately contributed as much to the character of today’s China as did the major battles. By analyzing the war as an international conflict, the author explains why so much of the present legitimacy of the Beijing government derives from its successes during the late 1940s, and reveals how the antagonism between China and the United States was born.

message 13: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4350 comments Mod
An upcoming book:
Release date: July 15, 2015

Where Chiang Kai-Shek Lost China: The Liao-Shen Campaign, 1948

Where Chiang Kai-Shek Lost China The Liao-Shen Campaign, 1948 by Harold M Tanner by Harold M Tanner (no photo)


The civil war in China that ended in the 1949 victory of Mao Zedong s Communist forces was a major blow to US interests in the Far East and led to heated recriminations about how China was "lost." Despite their significance, there have been few studies in English of the war's major campaigns.

The Liao-Shen Campaign was the final act in the struggle for control of China s northeast. After the Soviet defeat of Japan in Manchuria, Communist Chinese and then Nationalist troops moved into this strategically important area. China s largest industrial base and a major source of coal, Manchuria had extensive railways and key ports (both still under Soviet control). When American mediation over control of Manchuria failed, full-scale civil war broke out. By spring of 1946, Chiang Kai-shek s Nationalist armies had occupied most of the southern, economically developed part of Manchuria, pushing Communist forces north of the Songhua (Sungari) River. But over the next two years, the tide would turn. The Communists isolated the Nationalist armies and mounted a major campaign aimed at destroying the Kuomintang forces. This is the story of that campaign and its outcome, which were to have such far-reaching consequences.

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Jerome | 4350 comments Mod
The Battle for Manchuria and the Fate of China: Siping, 1946

The Battle for Manchuria and the Fate of China Siping, 1946 by Harold M. Tanner by Harold M. Tanner (no photo)


In the spring of 1946, Communists and Nationalist Chinese were battlied for control of Manchuria and supremacy in the civil war. The Nationalist attack on Siping ended with a Communist withdrawal, but further pursuit was halted by a cease-fire brokered by the American general, George Marshall. Within three years, Mao Zedong's troops had captured Manchuria and would soon drive Chiang Kai-shek's forces off the mainland. Did Marshall, as Chiang later claimed, save the Communists and determine China's fate? Putting the battle into the context of the military and political struggles fought, Harold M. Tanner casts light on all sides of this historic confrontation and shows how the outcome has been, and continues to be, interpreted to suit the needs of competing visions of China's past and future.

message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Jerome.

message 16: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) History has not been kind to Generalissimo Chiang. Read this biography and see what you think.

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

Chiang Kai Shek China's Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost by Jonathan Fenby by Jonathan Fenby (no photo)


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.

message 17: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 35 comments Interesting, but in my opinion he should be remembered for making Taiwan what it is today - a vibrant democracy of some of the happiest people on earth.

I've visited Taiwan many times since the 1970's and the difference between China and Taiwan is so staggering most people wouldn't believe it unless they saw it for themselves.

message 18: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Ed.....I think you are exactly right. My cousin lived in Taiwan for two years and said it was a fantastic and exciting place. But, unfortunately the Generalissimo seems only to be remembered for his activities in WWII. The Allies did not like him and his connection with the Soong family probably didn't help. But Taiwan is almost a miracle....a tiny land that has stood its ground against the giant China and indeed, he should be remembered for that.

message 19: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Counterrevolution in China: Wang Sheng and the Kuomintang

Counterrevolution in China Wang Sheng and the Kuomintang by Thomas A. Marks by Thomas A. Marks Thomas A. Marks


This ground-breaking book spans 60 years of modern Chinese history from the much neglected non-communist perspective. Concentrating on Wang Sheng's career in relation to Chiang Kai-Shek's extraordinary son Chiang Ching-Kuo, it shows that the KMT were perfecting the methods that were to make Taiwan an East Asian Tiger' economy at the very point that they lost' the mainland. The book also provides a fascinating insight into Taiwan's efforts to aid South Vietnam and Cambodia from 1960 as the Indochina war unfolded.

message 20: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 35 comments Thanks for the recommend.
Interestingly enough I was in Vietnam in 1969 and China Airlines out of Taiwan was performing heavy maintenance for the US Air Force. My first introduction to Taiwan was when China Airlines flew us technicians to Taipei for assistance.
I fell in love with the place. Wild times back then.

message 21: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The perfect example of David vs Goliath.

Forbidden Nation: A History of Taiwan

Forbidden Nation A History of Taiwan by Jonathan Manthorpe by Jonathan Manthorpe(no photo)


For over 400 years, Taiwan has suffered at the hands of multiple colonial powers, but it has now entered the decade when its independence will be won or lost. At the heart of Taiwan's story is the curse of geography that placed the island on the strategic cusp between the Far East and Southeast Asia and made it the guardian of some of the world's most lucrative trade routes. It is the story of the dogged determination of a courageous people to overcome every obstacle thrown in their path. Forbidden Nation tells the dramatic story of the island, its people, and what brought them to this moment when their future will be decided.

message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thanks Jill and interesting conversation with Ed - thanks Ed for the posts

message 23: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This book gives the reader a look at both sides of the conflict.

The Greatest Tumult: The Chinese Civil War, 1936-49

The Greatest Tumult The Chinese Civil War, 1936 49 by E.R. Hooton by E.R. Hooton (no photo)


Offering a perspective on the history of the Chinese Civil War of 1936-49, this book examines the events, both on and off the battlefield, which brought the Communists to power and inspired revolutionaries worldwide. It seeks out material from both sides of the conflict.

message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Chinese Civil War Armies 1911-49 (Men-at-Arms)

Chinese Civil War Armies 1911–49 by Philip Jowett by Philip Jowett (no photo)


The fall of the Manchu Empire in 1911 ended thousands of years of Imperial rule and ushered in almost 40 years of conflict in China. From the abdication of Pu-Yi, the last emperor, the invasion of Manchuria by the Japanese, and the 'long march', to the birth of the People's Republic of China in 1949, this book looks in detail at the fighting men, and women, who fought for the communists, imperialists, republicans, nationalists, warlords and the puppet armies. The result is a comprehensive and illuminating work covering a large and complex series of combatants and conflicts.

message 25: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China

The Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek and the Struggle for Modern China by Jay Taylor by Jay Taylor (no photo)


One of the most momentous stories of the last century is China's rise from a self-satisfied, anti-modern, decaying society into a global power that promises to one day rival the United States. Chiang Kai-shek, an autocratic, larger-than-life figure, dominates this story. A modernist as well as a neo-Confucianist, Chiang was a man of war who led the most ancient and populous country in the world through a quarter century of bloody revolutions, civil conflict, and wars of resistance against Japanese aggression.

In 1949, when he was defeated by Mao Zedong--his archrival for leadership of China--he fled to Taiwan, where he ruled for another twenty-five years. Playing a key role in the cold war with China, Chiang suppressed opposition with his "white terror," controlled inflation and corruption, carried out land reform, and raised personal income, health, and educational levels on the island. Consciously or not, he set the stage for Taiwan's evolution of a Chinese model of democratic modernization.

Drawing heavily on Chinese sources including Chiang's diaries, "The Generalissimo" provides the most lively, sweeping, and objective biography yet of a man whose length of uninterrupted, active engagement at the highest levels in the march of history is excelled by few, if any, in modern history. Jay Taylor shows a man who was exceedingly ruthless and temperamental but who was also courageous and conscientious in matters of state. Revealing fascinating aspects of Chiang's life, Taylor provides penetrating insight into the dynamics of the past that lie behind the struggle for modernity of mainland China and its relationship with Taiwan.

message 26: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The "power behind the throne" amazing and sometimes misunderstood lady.

The Last Empress: Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the Birth of Modern China

The Last Empress Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the Birth of Modern China by Hannah Pakula by Hannah Pakula (no photo)


With the beautiful, powerful, and sexy Madame Chiang Kai-shek at the center of one of the great dramas of the twentieth century, this is the story of the founding of modern China, starting with a revolution that swept away more than 2,000 years of monarchy, followed by World War II, and ending in the eventual loss to the Communists and exile in Taiwan.

An epic historical tapestry, this wonderfully wrought narrative brings to life what Americans should know about China -- the superpower we are inextricably linked with -- the way its people think and their code of behavior, both vastly different from our own.

The story revolves around this fascinating woman and her family: her father, a peasant who raised himself into Shanghai society and sent his daughters to college in America in a day when Chinese women were kept purposefully uneducated; her mother, an unlikely Methodist from the Mandarin class; her husband, a military leader and dogmatic warlord; her sisters, one marriedto Sun Yat-sen, the George Washington of China, the other to a seventy-fifth lineal descendant of Confucius; and her older brother, a financial genius.

This was the Soong family, which, along with their partners in marriage, was largely responsible for dragging China into the twentieth century. Brilliantly narrated, this fierce and bloody drama also includes U.S. Army General Joseph Stilwell; Claire Chennault, head of the Flying Tigers; Communist leaders Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai; murderous warlords; journalists Henry Luce, Theodore White, and Edgar Snow; and the unfortunate State Department officials who would be purged for predicting (correctly) the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War.

As the representative of an Eastern ally in the West, Madame Chiang was befriended -- before being rejected -- by the Roosevelts, stayed in the White House for long periods during World War II, and charmed the U.S. Congress into giving China billions of dollars. Although she was dubbed the Dragon Lady in some quarters, she was an icon to her people and is certainly one of the most remarkable women of the twentieth century.

message 27: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth

The Long March The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth by Sun Shuyun by Sun Shuyun (no photo)


The Long March is Communist China’s founding myth, the heroic tale that every Chinese child learns in school. Seventy years after the historical march took place, Sun Shuyun set out to retrace the Marchers’ steps and unexpectedly discovered the true history behind the legend. The Long March is the stunning narrative of her extraordinary expedition.

The facts are these: in 1934, in the midst of a brutal civil war, the Communist party and its 200,000 soldiers were forced from their bases by Chiang Kaishek and his Nationalist troops. After that, truth and legend begin to blur: led by Mao Zedong, the Communists set off on a strategic retreat to the distant barren north of China, thousands of miles away. Only one in five Marchers reached their destination, where, the legend goes, they gathered strength and returned to launch the new China in the heat of revolution.

As Sun Shuyun journeys to remote villages along the Marchers’ route, she interviews the aged survivors and visits little-known local archives. She uncovers shocking stories of starvation, disease, and desertion, of ruthless purges ordered by party leaders, of the mistreatment of women, and of thousands of futile deaths. Many who survived the March report that their suffering continued long after the “triumph” of the revolution, recounting tales of persecution and ostracism that culminated in the horrific years of the Cultural Revolution.

What emerges from Sun’s research, her interviews, and her own memories of growing up in China is a moving portrait of China past and present. Sun finds that the forces at work during the days of the revolution—the barren, unforgiving landscape; the unifying power of outside threats from foreign countries; Mao’s brilliant political instincts and his use of terror, propaganda, and ruthless purges to consolidate power and control the population—are the very forces that made China what it is today.

The Long March is a gripping retelling of an amazing historical adventure, an eye-opening account of how Mao manipulated the event for his own purposes, and a beautiful document of a country balanced between legend and the truth.

message 28: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Written by a participant in the Chinese Civil War as he remembered it.

The Kuomintang-Communist Struggle in China 1922-1949

The Kuomintang-Communist Struggle in China 1922 1949 by Chung-Gi Kwai by Chung-Gi Kwai (no photo)


Anyone making a study of the causes that led to the fall of the Chinese mainland into Communist hands will have to examine the long struggles between the two major rival parties in China, the Nationalists or the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communists. As the author once took a personal part in those struggles, he has assumed the task of giving an account of the facts as known to him. Some of the intricate events recorded in the following pages may be little known to the outside world or have not yet been revealed by others. What he has put down here has been carefully checked by him and is all backed up by firsthand sources. For example, on the eve of the March 19, 1926 Chungshan gunboat incident at Canton, an incident in which the Communists had plotted to kidnap General Chiang Kai-shek, then Commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy, someone had asked the General himself in person whether he was going back to Whampoa that day. Three telephone calls were made asking this question. In making a report of the incident after it was over, General Chiang did not identify who the individual was who was so persistent in ascertaining the General's movements on that momentous day, nor did he ever breathe a word of it even to his closest aides. Up to now few people know for sure who the person might have been.

message 29: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The Soong family of China has always fascinated me.....they controlled China and supported Chiang Kai-shek (or maybe I should say "controlled" the Generalissimo). This biography is a fantastic look at a fantastic dynasty.

The Soong Dynasty

The Soong Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave by Sterling Seagrave (no photo)


Descendants of a Chinese runaway who grew up in America under the protection of the Methodist church and who returned to his homeland to make a fortune selling Western bibles, the Soong family became the principal rulers of China during the first half of the 20th century and won the support of the American government and press for many decades. Sterling Seagrave describes for the first time the intricate and fascinating rise to power of Charlie Soong and his children: daughters Ai-ling, who married one of China's richest men, H.H. Kung; Ching-ling, who married Sun Yat-sen, leader of China's republican revolution; May-ling, who married Chiang Kai-shek, the autocratic ruler of Nationalist China whose ties to the Shanghai underworld the author has documented; and son T.V. Soong, who at various times served as Chiang's economic minister, foreign minister and premier. How all of the Soongs except Ching-ling amassed enormous wealth while millions of Chinese starved or were killed in the long fight against Japan and the equally bitter struggle with Mao are just some of the revelations in this explosive book.

message 30: by Dimitri (new)

Dimitri | 600 comments A new release, sheduled for 1 March 2017:

The Bitter Peace: Conflict in China 1928-37

The Bitter Peace Conflict in China 1928-37 by Philip S Jowett by Philip S Jowett(no photo)


After years of the civil conflict in China since the fall of the Imperial system in 1911 the victory of the Nationalists in 1928 should have heralded a period of peace. Instead the next nine years were to see wars, revolts and revolutions that took the lives of millions of soldiers and civilians.

Although officially at peace, the country was torn apart by foreign invasion, civil war and class conflict that often went unreported. Full-scale war with the Soviet Union and Japan cost China territory and prestige while civil conflict tore Chinese society apart. Clandestine warfare was waged by Japan during the 1920s, which led to an invasion and occupation of Manchuria in 1931. The Nationalist Government waged war on several fronts, fighting the invading Japanese while being obsessed with defeating the Chinese Communists.

There were an astounding number of conflicts during this period involving China and many are little known, even to some students of Chinese military history.

message 31: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4350 comments Mod
An upcoming book:
Release date: August 24, 2017

China at War: Triumph and Tragedy in the Emergence of the New China, 1937-1952

China at War Triumph and Tragedy in the Emergence of the New China, 1937-1952 by Hans van de Ven by Hans van de Ven (no photo)


China's War of Resistance against Japan, as WWII is known in China, was never about the defeat of Japan alone. China was also at war with itself. Between 1937 and 1949, a vicious revolutionary war between Nationalists and Communists, divided by radically different views about China's future, ravaged the country, killing millions and laying waste to cities and the countryside. The outcomes of these wars have shaped the country and the world since.

China at War focuses on this period, examining the complex truth behind the propaganda of both East and West. Cambridge professor Hans van de Ven shows how the results of the fighting ended European imperialism in East Asia, restored China to its traditional position of regional centrality, and gave the USA a decisive role in East Asian politics. In the process, he argues, it also triggered profound changes in warfare, as important as the development of atomic weapons, and gave the countryside a new social, political and military significance.

Through fascinating personal accounts and extensive scholarship, China at War casts new light on this crucial period of history, and harnesses contemporary art, culture and ideology to illuminate world-changing events.

message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Jerome for all of your adds.

message 33: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4350 comments Mod
Release date: September 19, 2017

A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949

A Force So Swift Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949 by Kevin Peraino by Kevin Peraino (no photo)


In the opening months of 1949, U.S. President Harry S. Truman found himself faced with a looming diplomatic catastrophe--"perhaps the greatest that this country has ever suffered," as the journalist Walter Lippmann put it. Throughout the spring and summer, Mao Zedong's Communist armies fanned out across mainland China, annihilating the rival troops of America's one-time ally Chiang Kai-shek and taking control of Beijing, Shanghai, and other major cities. As Truman and his aides--including his shrewd, ruthless secretary of state, Dean Acheson--scrambled to formulate a response, they were forced to contend not only with Mao, but also with unrelenting political enemies at home, in Congress and even within the administration. Over the course of this tumultuous year, Mao fashioned a new revolutionary government in Beijing, laying the foundation for the creation of modern China, while Chiang Kai-shek fled to the island sanctuary of Taiwan. These events transformed American foreign policy--leading, ultimately, to decades of friction with Communist China, a long-standing U.S. commitment to Taiwan, and the subsequent wars in Korea and Vietnam.

Drawing on Chinese and Russian sources, as well as recently declassified CIA documents, Kevin Peraino tells the story of this remarkable year through the eyes of the key players, including Mao Zedong, President Truman, Secretary of State Acheson, Minnesota congressman Walter Judd, and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, the influential first lady of the Republic of China. Truman and his administration struggled to navigate a disorienting new political landscape that was being reshaped daily by the emerging technology of television, the rising tensions of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and growing fears of spying, infiltration, and Russia’s acquisition of the atomic bomb.

Today, the legacy of 1949 is more relevant than ever to the relationships between China, the United States, and the rest of the world, as Beijing asserts its claims in the South China Sea and tensions endure between Taiwan and the mainland. Yet at the heart of the book is a story for any season--a thoughtful and moving examination of the fierce determination of the human will.

message 34: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Jerome

message 35: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited May 11, 2022 02:49PM) (new)

Jerome | 4350 comments Mod
Release date: December 1, 2022

Mao's Army Goes to Sea: The Island Campaigns and the Founding of China's Navy

Mao's Army Goes to Sea The Island Campaigns and the Founding of China's Navy by Toshi Yoshihara by Toshi Yoshihara (no photo)


From 1949 to 1950, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) made crucial decisions to establish a navy and secure China's periphery. The civil war had been fought with a peasant army, yet to capture key offshore islands from the Nationalist rival, Mao Zedong needed to develop maritime capabilities. Mao's Army Goes to Sea is a groundbreaking history of the founding of the Chinese navy and Communist China's earliest island-seizing campaigns.

By providing the definitive account of this little-known yet critical moment in China's naval history, author Toshi Yoshihara shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the People's Republic of China paid close attention to naval affairs during its earliest years. Chinese leaders possessed a clear vision and independent agency, refashioning the stratagems and tactics honed over decades of revolutionary struggle on land for nautical purposes. Despite serious material shortcomings, a lack of formal naval training, and some early military disasters, the PLA ultimately scored important victories over its Nationalist foes as it captured offshore islands to secure its position.

Drawing extensively from newly available Chinese-language sources, this book reveals how the navy-building process, sea battles, and contested offshore landings had a lasting influence on the PLA. Even today, the institution's identity, strategy, doctrine, and structure are conditioned by these early experiences and myths. Mao's Army Goes to Sea will help US policymakers and scholars place China's recent maritime achievements in proper historical context ― and provide insight into how its navy may act in the future.

message 36: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Engle | 1329 comments Thank you, Jerome I never even thought about Mao’s need for a navy … after all, Taiwan is an island … duh!

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