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China memoirs : Chiang Kai-shek and the war against Japan /

Main Author: Lattimore, Owen, 1900-
Other Authors: Isono, Fujiko, 1918-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: [Tokyo] : University of Tokyo Press, 1990
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Review by Choice Review

Lattimore began this short autobiography, at the urging of Fujiko Isono, several years before his death. With Lattimore's death in 1989, Isono assumed the responsibility for completing the manuscript. As the title indicates, the work emphasizes the period Lattimore spent in Ch'ung-ch'ing as an advisor to Chiang K'ai-shek. The sections dealing with the Ch'ung-ch'ing assignment provide insights into the personalities and political views of some of Chiang's closest advisors. Also informative are the chapters on Lattimore's early years in China and Europe and his later run-in with Senator Joseph McCarthy. Overall, this a useful autobiography and a fine tribute to Owen Lattimore. But it is not a definitive work, nor was it intended to be. Too many significant details of Lattimore's career have been omitted. Undergraduates will learn a great deal about the "father" of Mongolian studies; specialists, however, may be disappointed. -R. H. Detrick, University of North Texas

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Lattimore (1900-1989), the distinguished Orientalist who was ultimately cleared of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's charge that he was Russia's top espionage agent in the U.S., wrote a much-discussed book about his persecution, Ordeal By Slander (1950). Here he reminisces about his upbringing and education in China, his editorship of the Journal of Pacific Affairs , his role as personal adviser to Chiang Kai-shek during WW II, his tenures as deputy director of the Office of War Information and as director of the School of International Relations at Johns Hopkins. Without rancor, he discusses the professional experiences and writings that were distorted by McCarthy and the ``China lobby'' against him, including the accusation that he tried to influence U.S. public opinion against Chiang in favor of the Chinese Communists. In Lattimore's decidedly minority view, the Generalissimo was ``a great man who did great things,'' especially his role as rallying point in the war against the Japanese. Compiled by Fujiko Isono from interviews, the memoir contributes to a deeper understanding of Chiang's complex relationship with the Communists during the period of the United Front, before the final phase of the Chinese civil war began. Photos. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved