China Memoirs: Chiang Kai-Shek and the War Against Japan

Owen Lattimore, Author, Fujiko Isono, With University of Tokyo Press $40 (0p) ISBN 978-0-86008-468-6
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.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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