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Madame Chiang Kai-shek: China's Eternal…

Madame Chiang Kai-shek: China's Eternal First Lady

by Laura Tyson Li

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0871139332, Hardcover)

Madame Chiang Kai-shek — a Booklist Editors' Choice for 2006 — is the first biography of one of the most controversial and fascinating women of the twentieth century. Raised in a powerful Chinese family, the beautiful, brilliant, and captivating Soong Mayling married Nationalist leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, and went on to become his chief adviser, interpreter, and propagandist. When the Communists broke with Chiang’s Nationalist Party, Mayling and her sister, the widow of Sun Yat-Sen, found themselves on opposing sides of a civil war. A relentless crusader speaking out against Communism well into her nineties, she sparred with international leaders and impressed Westerners and Chinese alike with her acumen, charm, and glamour. But she was also decried as a manipulative “Dragon Lady” and was despised for living in Western-style splendor while Chinese citizens suffered under her husband’s brutal oppression. The result of years of extensive research in the United States and abroad and access to previously classified CIA and diplomatic files, here at last is the story of an extraordinary woman who has become a symbol of America’s long, vexed love affair with China and China’s own struggle to define itself as a world power.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:47 -0400)

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"Madame Chiang Kai-shek is the first biography of one of history's most intriguing and controversial political figures. Beautiful, brilliant, and captivating, the woman known as China's Eternal First Lady wielded unprecedented official and unofficial power during China's long and violent civil war. She passionately opposed Chinese Communism and influenced decades of American foreign policy." "In a life that spanned the twentieth century (1898-2003), Madame Chiang bore witness to China's tempestuous evolution from the imperial Qing Dynasty through the Chinese Revolution, the Japanese invasion of World War II, the triumph of Chinese Communists on the mainland, and the end of colonialism in Hong Kong. Raised in one of China's most powerful families - the Soongs, subject of Sterling Seagrave's best-selling The Soong Dynasty - and educated at Wellesley College, Soong Mayling went on to become wife, chief adviser, interpreter, and propagandist to Nationalist leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. When the Communists broke with Chiang's Nationalist Party, Mayling and her sister, the widow of Sun Yat-sen, found themselves on opposing sides of a civil war. Mayling assisted her husband, serving briefly as head of the Chinese Air Force where she created the Flying Tigers, and lobbied the United States and other foreign governments extensively for support. During a tour of America in 1943, she became the first Asian, and only the second woman, to address the United States Congress." "Based on extensive interviews, years of research in the United States and abroad, with access to previously classified CIA and diplomatic files, Madame Chiang Kai-shek is a tour de force portrait of one of the most fascinating women of the twentieth century."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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