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

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sep 10, 2013 - History - 464 pages
40 Reviews
An Economist Book of the Year
A Financial Times Book of the Year

“A book that has long cried out to be written.” — Observer (UK), Books of the Year

In 1937, two years before Hitler invaded Poland, Chinese troops clashed with Japanese occupiers in the first battle of World War II. Joining with the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, China became the fourth great ally in a devastating struggle for its very survival.

Prizewinning historian Rana Mitter unfurls China’s drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue as never before. Based on groundbreaking research, this gripping narrative focuses on a handful of unforgettable characters, including Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, and Chiang’s American chief of staff, “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell. Mitter also recounts the sacrifice and resilience of everyday Chinese people through the horrors of bombings, famines, and the infamous Rape of Nanking.

More than any other twentieth-century event, World War II was crucial in shaping China’s worldview, making Forgotten Ally both a definitive work of history and an indispensable guide to today’s China and its relationship with the West.

“In the manner of David McCullough, [Mitter] creates a complex history that is urgently alive.” — Kirkus Reviews

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

User Review  - Goodreads

This book provides an overview of China's role in WWII, and to the extent that readers are unfamiliar with that history, it is a useful corrective. But its true aims lie deeper: it is unapologetically ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Goodreads

Relatively quick overview of China's war with Japan and civil war/alliance. What a complicated period! This book helps put things in perspective and helps understand modern China that may be more ... 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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