Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937-1945

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sep 10, 2013 - History - 464 pages
29 Reviews
The epic, untold story of China’s devastating eight-year war of resistance against Japan

For decades, a major piece of World War II history has gone virtually unwritten. The war began in China, two years before Hitler invaded Poland, and China eventually became the fourth great ally, partner to the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain. Yet its drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue remains little known in the West.

Rana Mitter focuses his gripping narrative on three towering leaders: Chiang Kai-shek, the politically gifted but tragically flawed head of China’s Nationalist government; Mao Zedong, the Communists’ fiery ideological stalwart, seen here at the beginning of his epochal career; and the lesser-known Wang Jingwei, who collaborated with the Japanese to form a puppet state in occupied China. Drawing on Chinese archives that have only been unsealed in the past ten years, he brings to vivid new life such characters as Chiang’s American chief of staff, the unforgettable “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, and such horrific events as the Rape of Nanking and the bombing of China’s wartime capital, Chongqing. Throughout, Forgotten Ally shows how the Chinese people played an essential role in the wider war effort, at great political and personal sacrifice.
Forgotten Ally rewrites the entire history of World War II. Yet it also offers surprising insights into contemporary China. No twentieth-century event was as crucial in shaping China’s worldview, and no one can understand China, and its relationship with America today, without this definitive work.

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Review: Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937-1945

User Review  - S. Shelton - Goodreads

Rana Mitter has his premise exactly correct. The 1937-1945 war in China is largely unknown and not long remembered. In 1943, Allied leaders decided that the campaign in China was second tier in their ... Read full review

Review: Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937-1945

User Review  - Russell - Goodreads

Even thought Mitter takes a fairly standard approach to an historical topic he illuminates a time period that has a lot of resonance for the way todays world works. Much of China's response to the ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

RANA MITTER is a professor of modern Chinese history at the University of Oxford and the author of several books including A Bitter Revolution. He is a regular contributor to British television and radio. His writing has appeared in the Financial Times, the Guardian, and elsewhere.

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