Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945
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Barbara W. Tuchman won her second Pulitzer Prize for this nonfiction masterpiece—an authoritative work of history that recounts the birth of modern China through the eyes of one extraordinary American.
General Joseph W. Stilwell was a man who loved China deeply, spoke its language, and knew its people as few Americans ever have. Barbara W. Tuchman’s groundbreaking narrative follows Stilwell from the time he arrived in China during the Revolution of 1911, through his tours of duty in Peking and Tientsin in the 1920s and 30s, to his return as theater commander in World War II, when the Nationalist government faced attack from both Japanese invaders and Communist insurgents. Peopled by warlords, ambassadors, missionaries, and the spiritual heir to the Empress Dowager, this classic biography of the cantankerous but level-headed “Vinegar Joe” sparkles with Tuchman’s genius for animating the people who shaped history.
Praise for Stilwell and the American Experience in China
“Tuchman’s best book . . . so large in scope, so crammed with information, so clear in exposition, so assured in tone that one is tempted to say it is not a book but an education.”—The New Yorker
“The most interesting and informative book on U.S.–China relations . . . a brilliant, lucid and authentic account.”—The Nation
“A fantastic and complex story finely told.”—The New York Times Book Review
same order of triviality as Chiang’s call for watermelons in the midst of debacle in Burma. At the peak of his exasperation Stilwell concluded, “There must be tremendous cohesion in the Chinese people for them to survive the terrible neglect and maladministration of their so-called leaders.” It was this knowledge that kept him trying until the end of his mission. On December 28 Chiang Kai-shek notified Roosevelt that his original condition of sea and air superiority in the Bay of Bengal was not
death or desertion: Liu, 137. 363 Kunming Training Center: CBI History, Master Narrative; Stilwell to Stimson, 21 Mar 43, Stimson Papers. 363 American instructor quoted: Col. Thomas Arms, Jr., to author. 363 Interpreters’ strike: ibid. 364 Lung Yun and rubber tires: Ravdin, 202. 364 Building the Road: Seagrave**, 15-27; CBI History, Master Narrative; R&S*, 341-45; Gen. Wheeler to author. 365 Stilwell at the Polo Ground Mess: Jones to author; New York Herald Tribune, 16 Jun 43, UP from
habits, 421 “genius for instruction,” 125 hatred of rich and snobbish, 126-27 Japanese prisoners hated, 435 love of family, 127 in maneuvers, 205 modesty, 125, 392 never gave up, 501 optimistic, 392 organizer of theatricals, 127 physical description, 4, 425-26, 440 racial pejoratives used, 127 sarcasm, 21 scatology, 126 strictness of standards, 130 uniform, 289, 343, 436-37 in Philippines, 18-20, 24, 42, 519-21 President of War Equipment Board, 523 ranks held: second
officer was due to end, Stilwell reported on two more journeys to widely separated regions of China. In April, traveling by riverboat and on foot without interpreter or companion, he went on a month’s tour of three provinces on the south bank of the Yangtze: Chekiang on the coast and Kiangsi and Hunan inland. Here there was no scope for road-building for the population owned no wheeled vehicles except wheelbarrows. Goods were water-borne or carried on shoulder poles along trails that followed the
murder. “Chao’s warning look proved it; he slowly turned his head back and forth to signal ‘No.’ He was deathly afraid, not for himself but for me.” The prodding and sly tricks and insults continued. With rage in his heart Stilwell contained himself. At a halt the crowd argued whether to “take us off now and shoot us or turn us over at P’u Kow,” the last stop. Catching at the straw, Chao demanded, “Yes, arrest us; turn us over to the authorities at P’u Kow. We demand it. The foreigner has great