In this Pulitzer Prize - winning biography, Barbara Tuchman explores American relations with China through the experiences of one of our men on the ground. In the cantankerous but level-headed "Vinegar Joe", Tuchman found a subject who allowed her to perform, in the words of the
National Review, "one of the historian's most envied magic acts: conjoining a fine biography of a man with a fascinating epic story."
Joseph Stilwell was the military attaché to China from 1935 to 1939, commander of United States forces, and allied chief of staff to Chiang Kai-shek from 1942 to 1944. His story unfolds against the background of China's history, from the revolution of 1911 to the turmoil of World War II, when China's Nationalist government faced attack from Japanese invaders and Communist insurgents.
"The most interesting and informative book on U.S.-China relations...a brilliant, lucid and authentic account." (
The Nation)"Barbara 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)
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