The Devil Soldier

Caleb Carr, Author Grove/Atlantic $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87113-462-2
With Yankee self-reliance, penniless soldier-of-fortune Frederick Townsend Ward (1831-1862) from Salem, Mass., made himself indispensable to China's Manchu dynasty in its bloody crushing of the Taiping rebellion of 1859. Assembling and commanding a highly disciplined army of native Chinese soldiers in Shanghai, Ward was officially made a mandarin by China's rulers. ``In every sense a free-lance''--a questioner of authority, military doctrine and even of national loyalty--he became a Chinese citizen and in 1862 married Yang Chang-mei, daughter of his most loyal backer. He died in battle the same year; his wife survived him by just one year, apparently dying of ``extreme grief.'' In this sympathetic, solid biography, Carr ( Casing the Promised Land ) focuses on political and diplomatic history, portraying the adaptable mercenary as a harbinger of later efforts to open China to Western assistance. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-7382-0
Hardcover - 366 pages - 978-0-679-41114-7
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-679-76128-0
Open Ebook - 245 pages - 978-0-307-76552-9
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