Synopses & Reviews
The epic, untold story of Chinaand#8217;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 Chinaand#8217;s Nationalist government; Mao Zedong, the Communistsand#8217; 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 Chiangand#8217;s American chief of staff, the unforgettable and#8220;Vinegar Joeand#8221; Stilwell, and such horrific events as the Rape of Nanking and the bombing of Chinaand#8217;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 Chinaand#8217;s worldview, and no one can understand China, and its relationship with America today, without this definitive work.
"Chang fails [in her account] because she rushes to simplify complex events and to universalize what happened at the expense of a careful, comprehensive appreciation of a world violently destroyed." Kirkus
"In her important new book, Iris Chang, whose own grandparents were survivors, recounts the grisly massacre with understandable outrage." Orville Schell, New York Times Book Review
"A gripping account that holds the reader's attention from beginning to end. This meticulously researched book is a moving drama that pays fitting tribute to the Americans and Europeans living in Nanking who risked their lives to rescue the Chinese people from rape and extermination." Nien Cheng, author of Life and Death in Shanghai
"Anyone interested in the relation between war, self-righteousness, and the human spirit will find The Rape of Nanking of fundamental importance. It is scholarly, an exciting investigation and a work of passion. In places it is almost unbearable to read, but it should be read only if the past is understood can the future be navigated." Ross Terrill, author of Mao, China in Our Time and Madame Mao
In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered—a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written what will surely be the definitive history of this horrifying episode. The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: of the Japanese soldiers who performed it, of the Chinese civilians who endured it, and of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost 300,000 Chinese. Among these was the Nazi John Rabe, an unlikely hero whom Chang calls the "Oskar Schindler of China" and who worked tirelessly to protect the innocent and publicize the horror. More than just narrating the details of an orgy of violence, The Rape of Nanking analyzes the militaristic culture that fostered in the Japanese soldiers a total disregard for human life. Finally, it tells the appalling story: about how the advent of the Cold War led to a concerted effort on the part of the West and even the Chinese to stifle open discussion of this atrocity. Indeed, Chang characterizes this conspiracy of silence, that persists to this day, as "a second rape."
In December 1937, in what was then the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres occurred. The Japanese army swept into the the city of Nanking and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenceless city but systematically raped, tortured and murdered more than 300,000 civilians.
The epic, untold story of Chinaand#8217;s devastating eight-year war of resistance against Japan in World War II.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 231-283) and index.
About the Author
Iris Chang’s numerous honors include the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation’s Program on Peace and International Cooperation Award. Her work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, Newsweek, and the Los Angeles Times. She is also the author of the bestselling The Rape of Nanking, available from Penguin.
Table of Contents
Prologue: City on Fireand#8194;1
Part I: The Path to Warand#8194;25
and#160; 1.and#160;As Close as Lips and Teeth: Chinaand#8217;s Fall, Japanand#8217;s Riseand#8194;27
and#160; 2.and#160;A New Revolutionand#8194;43
and#160; 3.and#160;The Path to Confrontationand#8194;56
Part II: Disasterand#8194;77
and#160; 4.and#160;Thirty-seven Days in Summer: The Outbreak of Warand#8194;79
and#160; 5.and#160;The Battle for Shanghaiand#8194;98
and#160; 6.and#160;Refugees and Resistanceand#8194;109
and#160; 7.and#160;Massacre at Nanjingand#8194;124
and#160; 8.and#160;The Battle of Taierzhuangand#8194;145
and#160; 9.and#160;The Deadly Riverand#8194;157
Part III: Resisting Aloneand#8194;171
and#160; 10.and#160;and#8220;A sort of wartime normaland#8221;and#8194;173
and#160; 11.and#160;Flight into the Unknownand#8194;197
and#160; 12.and#160;The Road to Pearl Harborand#8194;211
Part IV: The Poisoned Allianceand#8194;237
and#160; 13.and#160;Destination Burmaand#8194;239
and#160; 14.and#160;Hunger in Henanand#8194;263
and#160; 15.and#160;States of Terrorand#8194;280
and#160; 16.and#160;Conference at Cairoand#8194;296
and#160; 17.and#160;One War, Two Frontsand#8194;315
and#160; 18.and#160;Showdown with Stilwelland#8194;335
and#160; 19.and#160;Unexpected Victoryand#8194;345
Epilogue: The Enduring Warand#8194;365