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.
"Rana Mitterand#8217;s brilliant new book, Forgotten Ally: Chinaand#8217;s War with Japan, 1937-1945, makes an important and moving contribution to the historical record by illuminating the largely forgotten war that took the lives of millions of Chinese, yet ultimately facilitated the rise of modern China." -- Dr. Henry A. Kissinger
"Superb." and#8212; New York Times Book Review
"Important and compelling . . . Closely examin[es] Beijing's role in the Allied war effort, the heavy and often thankless price paid by the Chinese in their fight against Japan, and the impact of China's wartime traumas on the country's postwar development. . . . Fascinating." and#8212; Wall Street Journal
"Powerful . . . Mitter excels . . . in placing China's wartime experience in a robustly international framework. . . . General readers curious to learn more about Chinese history should welcome any new book by Mitter." and#8212; Daily Beast
and#160; "Rana Mitter's history of the Sino-Japanese War . . . is a major contribution to the one aspect of the Second World War of which we know far too little, and should know much more if we are to understand the new superpower today. It is a model of clarity and good writing." and#8212; Antony Beevor, Times (UK) and#160;
"Restor[es] a vital part of the wartime narrative to its rightful place. . . . A remarkable story, told with humanity and intelligence; all historians of the second world war will be in Mitterand#8217;s debt. . . . No one could ask for a better guide." - Richard Overy, Guardianand#160; (London)
"The best narrative of that long-ago war, whose effects still linger in China today." - Jonathan Mirsky, The Spectatorand#160; (London)
"Illuminating and meticulously researched. . . . It is the voice of the Chinese [. . .] that gives the distinctive tone to Mitterand#8217;s narrative. From the diaries of Chiang Kai-shek to those of national journalists and middle-class Chinese fleeing the conflict, these first-person observations are woven skillfully into his chronicle of the battles and struggles."and#160; -The Economist
and#160; "Forgotten Ally is a breathtaking chronicle of Chinaand#8217;s war with Japan from 1937 to 1945, a major theater of World War II whose story most Western readers have never heard in full -- certainly not as Mitter interprets it here. Authoritative and epic, pulsing with life, this is a grand vision of Chinaand#8217;s transformation through the cataclysm of war in the twentieth century." -- Stephen R. Platt, author of Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom and#160; "Gripping...He shows that...the east Asian conflict shaped both the outcomes of the second world war and the development of the postwar world." - The Observer and#160;
"An important, timely contribution to shedding light where there is currently much darkness... Mitter and#8217;s book demonstrates why to this day the Chinese view Japan with such animosity." -- The Financial Times
"Mitter has done an important service both in pulling together the complex narrative threads of this period and in reminding readers of Chinaand#8217;s vital and largely neglected contribution to the Allied war effort... Mitterand#8217;s excellent history tells us why we need to remember it." -- The New Statesman
and#160; "Rana Mitter has written a masterly account of the war, which blends wide deep scholarship with an accessible narrative...Mitter's great achievement is to have encompassed a multi-faceted story in a readable, coherent and gripping manner" - Jonathan Fenby, The Times and#160; "This monumental new work by Oxford University professor Rana Mitter magisterially surveys this conflict, the broader repercussions of which still resonate across East Asia." -- South China Morning Post and#160; "For decades, argues Rana Mitter in his superb new book, western readers have known too little about China's suffering....Mitter offers a lucid and moving account of the conflict's staggering military tragedies. But it is also a first-rate political and social history if China's wartime years....Mitter's elegant, rigorous and balanced account is an ideal guide to traumas that continue to cast a long shadow over the region." -- TheTelegraph and#160; "This gripping political history not only provides a detailed scholarly account of the Sino-Japanese War but also, in a prologue, offers an admirably succinct introduction to the political history of China in the first half of the twentieth century . . . A story of heroic and determined resistance . . . enlivened by extracts from the writing of Chinese people who endured the war." -- Delia Davin, Observer (UK) and#160; "A masterly account . . . Blends wide, deep scholarship with an accessible narrative that includes an admirable focus on [the warand#8217;s] effects on ordinary people . . . Mitterand#8217;s great achievement is to have encompassed a multi-faceted story in a readable, coherent, and gripping manner that should rescue this horrific conflict from the neglect it has suffered in the West and explain why history lives on in East Asia." -- Jonathan Fenby, Times (UK) "Mitterand#8217;s narrative and#233;lan, in the manner of David McCullough, creates a complex history that is urgently alive. An important, well-told tale of China at war." -- Kirkus "An important and compelling history of China's World War II experience...Mr. Mitter's book gives China its historical due." -- The Wall Street Journal
"Mitter gathers a generation of research and debate to weave new insights into a sweeping panorama...This is cutting-edge history, and thereand#8217;s scarcely a dull page. Highly recommended." -- Library Journal, starred
and#8220;This is the best study of China's war with Japan (1937-1945) written in any language. It is comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and objective. For anyone interested in how China helped shape today's world, this is a must-read.and#8221; and#8212; Akira Iriye, Charles Warren Professor of History (emeritus), Harvard University
"Forgotten Ally...deserves to be read by anyone interested in China, World War II and the future of Chinaand#8217;s relations with the rest of the world...Mitter masterfully constructs these interlocking stories of battles, famines, massacres, diplomacy and intrigue...Excellent book."and#8212; Washington Post
"[Mitter] writes with rare objectivity on subjects that remain controversial today, and his illustrations are both poignant and pertinent...Forgotten Ally is must reading for anyone seeking a full perspective on the Pacific war."-- The Washington Times
"Mitter applies historical empathy to yield fresh insights into the situations of all the actors in the horrific conflict that the Chinese call the War of Resistance Against Japan." -- Foreign Affairs
The Battle of Stalingrad was not only the psychological turning point of World War II: it also changed the face of modern warfare
Beevor's latest bookArdennes 1944: The Battle of the Bulgeis now available from Viking Books
Historians and reviewers worldwide have hailed Antony Beevor's magisterial Stalingrad as the definitive account of World War II's most harrowing battle.
In August 1942, Hitler's huge Sixth Army reached the city that bore Stalin's name. In the five-month siege that followed, the Russians fought to hold Stalingrad at any cost; then, in an astonishing reversal, encircled and trapped their Nazi enemy. This battle for the ruins of a city cost more than a million lives. Stalingrad conveys the experience of soldiers on both sides, fighting in inhuman conditions, and of civilians trapped on an urban battlefield. Antony Beevor has itnerviewed survivors and discovered completely new material in a wide range of German and Soviet archives, including prisoner interrogations and reports of desertions and executions. As a story of cruelty, courage, and human suffering, Stalingrad is unprecedented and unforgettable."
This gripping history is the definitive account of the battle that shifted the tide of World War II, conveying the experience of soldiers on both sides as they fought in inhuman conditions, and of civilians trapped on an urban battlefield. of photos. National radio telephone tour.
Historians and reviewers worldwide have hailed Antony Beevor's magisterial Stalingrad as the definitive account of World War II's most harrowing battle. In August 1942, Hitler's huge Sixth Army reached the city that bore Stalin's name. In the five month siege that followed, the Russians fought to hold Stalingrad at any cost, then caught their Nazi enemy in an astonishing reversal. As never before, Stalingrad conveys the experience of soldiers on both sides as they fought in inhuman conditions, and of civilians trapped on an urban battlefield. Antony Beevor has interviewed survivors and discovered completely new material in a wide range of German and Soviet archives, including reports of prisoner interrogations, desertions, and executions. The battle of Stalingrad was the psychological turning point of World War II; as Beevor makes clear, it also changed the face of modern warfare. As a story of cruelty, courage, and human suffering, Stalingrad is unprecedented and unforgettable.
The epic, untold story of Chinaand#8217;s devastating eight-year war of resistance against Japan in World War II.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 477-485) and index.
About the Author
RANA MITTERandnbsp;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,andnbsp;and elsewhere.
Table of Contents
Stalingrad List of Illustrations and Maps
Part One. 'The World Will Hold Its Breath'
1. The Double-Edged Sword of Barbarossa
2. 'Nothing is Impossible for the German Soldier!'
3. 'Smash in the Door and the Whole Rotten Structure Will Come Crashing Down!'
4. Hitler's Hubris: The Delayed Battle for Moscow
Part Two. Barbarossa Relaunched
5. General Paulus's First Battle
6. 'How Much Land Does a Man Need?'
7. 'Not One Step Backwards'
8. 'The Volga is Reached!'
Part Three. 'The Fateful City'
9. 'Time is Blood': The September Battles
11. Traitors and Allies
12. Fortresses of Rubble and Iron
13. Paulus's Final Assault
14. 'All For the Front!'
Part Four. Zhukov's Trap
15. Operation Uranus
16. Hitler's Obsession
17. 'The Fortress Without a Roof'
18. 'Der Manstein Kommit!'
19. 'Christmas in the German Way'
Part Five. The Subjugation of the Sixth Army
20. The Air-Bridge
21. 'Surrender Out of the Question'
22. 'A German Field Marshall Does Not Commit Suicide with a Pair of Nail Scissors!'
23. 'Stop Dancing! Stalingrad Has Fallen'
24. The City of the Dead
25. The Sword of Stalingrad
Appendix A: German and Soviet Orders of Battle, 19 November 1942
Appendix B: The Statistical Debate: Sixth Army Strength in the Kessel