Victorious in Defeat


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The Life and Times of Chiang Kai-shek, China, 1887-1975

Alexander V. Pantsov; Translated by Steven I. Levine

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An extensively researched, comprehensive biography of Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, one of the twentieth century’s most powerful and controversial figures
Chiang Kai-shek (1887–1975) led the Republic of China for almost fifty years, starting in 1926. He was the architect of a new, republican China, a hero of the Second World War, and a faithful ally of the United States. Simultaneously a Christian and a Confucian, Chiang dreamed of universal equality yet was a perfidious and cunning dictator responsible for the deaths of over 1.5 million innocent people.
This critical biography is based on Chiang Kai-shek’s unpublished diaries, his extensive personal files from the Russian archives, and the Russian files of his relatives, associates, and foes. Alexander V. Pantsov sheds new light on the role played by the Russians in Chiang’s rise to power in the 1920s and throughout his political career—and indeed the Russian influence on the Chinese revolutionary movement as a whole—as well as on Chiang’s complex relationship with top officials of the United States. It is a detailed portrait of a man who ranks with Stalin, Roosevelt, Hitler, Churchill, and Gandhi as leaders who shaped our world.

Alexander V. Pantsov is a professor of history and holds the Edward and Mary Catharine Gerhold Chair in the Humanities at Capital University. He lives in Westerville, OH.

“Drawing on Russian archival materials as well as his expertise on Chinese Communism, Pantsov offers a new and unique assessment of Chiang Kai-shek’s complex character."—Chen Yungfa, author of Making Revolution: The Communist Movement in Eastern and Central China, 1937–1945

“History dealt Chiang Kai-shek a cruel hand and to date, historians have been no kinder. However, recently opened archives and personal papers offer fresh insights into Chiang’s life. Be prepared for surprises in this gripping, masterful account of the life and times of a flawed but heroic figure.”John Fitzgerald, Swinburne University, Melbourne

“Alexander Pantsov brings his finely honed narrative and research skills to bear on the life of Chiang Kai-shek. No one interested in where today’s China came from can afford to miss this book.”—Hans van de Ven, Cambridge University
ISBN: 9780300260205
Publication Date: March 21, 2023
736 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
31 b/w illus.