The Generalissimo's Son: Chiang Ching-kuo and the Revolutions in China and Taiwan

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Harvard University Press, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 544 pages
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Chiang Ching-kuo, son and political heir of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, was born in 1910, when Chinese women, nearly all illiterate, hobbled about on bound feet and men wore pigtails as symbols of subservience to the Manchu Dynasty. In his youth Ching-kuo was a Communist and a Trotskyite, and he lived twelve years in Russia. He died in 1988 as the leader of Taiwan, a Chinese society with a flourishing consumer economy and a budding but already wild, woolly, and open democracy. He was an actor in many of the events of the last century that shaped the history of China's struggles and achievements in the modern era: the surge of nationalism among Chinese youth, the grand appeal of Marxism-Leninism, the terrible battle against fascist Japan, and the long, destructive civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists. In 1949, he fled to Taiwan with his father and two million Nationalists. He led the brutal suppression of dissent on the island and was a major player in the cold, sometimes hot war between Communist China and America. By reacting to changing economic, social, and political dynamics on Taiwan, Sino-American rapprochement, Deng Xiaoping's sweeping reforms on the mainland, and other international events, he led Taiwan on a zigzag but ultimately successful transition from dictatorship to democracy.

Jay Taylor underscores the interaction of political developments on the mainland and in Taiwan and concludes that if China ever makes a similar transition, it will owe much to the Taiwan example and the Generalissimo's son.

 

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The Generalissimo's son: Chiang Ching-kuo and the revolutions in China and Taiwan

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Taylor, who once served in the U.S. Foreign Service, was asked by the semiofficial China Times Publishing Company in Taipei to write an independent, unrestricted biography of Chiang Ching-kuo, the son ... Read full review

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Contents

Upright Stone
3
A Teachable Son
14
Dreams of the Red Chamber
27
Socialist Man
49
Reunion and War
74
The Kannan Model
96
Dean and General
116
Manchurian Candidate
129
The Golden Cudgel
284
The Premier
303
Old Orders Passing
320
The Divorce
331
Riot and Trials
346
Island and Mainland
361
Successors Brokers Killers
377
Building Consensus
395

Defeat
144
End Game
165
An Unintended Consequence
191
Secret Wars
206
Family Friends Enemies
223
Managing the Great Patron
236
China Leaps Backward
255
The Minister
272
Breakthrough
405
A Chinese Democracy
421
EPILOGUE
431
ROMANIZATION TABLE
437
NOTES
447
INDEX
513
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About the author (2009)

Jay Taylor is a Research Associate at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.

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