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Jay Taylor | The Generalissimo

  • Jiashan Market Lane 550 South Shaanxi Road | No. 37 | Building D Shanghai (map)

This is an event organized by The Royal Asiatic Society (RAS) China in Shanghai.

The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China

"Chiang Kai-shek ranks as one of the most despised leaders of the 20th century. Famously derided as "Peanut" and "General Cash-My-Check," the leader of China's Nationalist government bedeviled the Allied war effort in World War II with his lackluster defense of his country. His corrupt and brutal regime squandered billions of dollars in American aid and drove the Chinese into the arms of the communists. He died in exile a deluded despot, relegated to a footnote in modern Chinese history. Or so the conventional story goes.
Now, however, Jay Taylor's new biography, "The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China," challenges the catechism on which generations of Americans have been weaned. Marshaling archival materials made newly available to researchers, including about four decades' worth of Chiang's daily diaries and documents from the Soviet era, it torpedoes many of that catechism's cherished tenets. This is an important, controversial book.  Taylor argues that, far from being incompetent, Chiang was a farsighted, disciplined and canny strategist who repeatedly predicted major geopolitical events and made the most of the weak hand he was usually dealt by allies and enemies. His five decades of participation, at the highest levels, in world-changing events may be unsurpassed in the 20th century. For all his flaws as a political leader, Chiang laid the foundation not only for Taiwan's prosperity, but also for its transformation into the only democracy in the Chinese-speaking world, and one of the few in Asia.", Laura Tyson Li, The Washington Post, April 26, 2009

EVENT DETAILS (click here)

Date        Monday 15 June 2015 | 19.00 - 21.00

Venue     Melange Oasis, Jiashan Market
                   Lane 550 South Shaanxi Road | No. 37 | Building D

Cost         RAS Members 20 RMB, non-members 50 RMB

RSVP       [email protected]

About the Speaker
Jay Taylor is a research associate at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. During the Cultural Revolution he served in the U.S. Foreign Service and was posted in Hong Kong. He is also the author of The Generalissimo’s Son: Chiang Ching-kuo and the Remolutions in China and Taiwan (Harvard University Press, 2000), The Dragon and the Wild Goose: China and India (Greenwood Press, 1987).

Earlier Event: June 10
Moshe Safdie | CANCELLED
Later Event: June 17
Alumni Mixer at Barules