Forgotten Ally by Rana Mitter
China's World War II, 1937-1945

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There are many side tales and numerous other characters in the book, yet Mitter’s narrative élan, in the manner of David McCullough, creates a complex history that is urgently alive. An important, well-told tale of China at war.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

An Economist Book of the Year
A Financial Times Book of the Year

“A book that has long cried out to be written.” — Observer (UK), Books of the Year

In 1937, two years before Hitler invaded Poland, Chinese troops clashed with Japanese occupiers in the first battle of World War II. Joining with the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, China became the fourth great ally in a devastating struggle for its very survival.

Prizewinning historian Rana Mitter unfurls China’s drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue as never before. Based on groundbreaking research, this gripping narrative focuses on a handful of unforgettable characters, including Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, and Chiang’s American chief of staff, “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell. Mitter also recounts the sacrifice and resilience of everyday Chinese people through the horrors of bombings, famines, and the infamous Rape of Nanking.

More than any other twentieth-century event, World War II was crucial in shaping China’s worldview, making Forgotten Ally both a definitive work of history and an indispensable guide to today’s China and its relationship with the West.

“In the manner of David McCullough, [Mitter] creates a complex history that is urgently alive.” — Kirkus Reviews
 

About Rana Mitter

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RANA MITTER is a professor of modern Chinese history at the University of Oxford and the author of several books including A Bitter Revolution. He is a regular contributor to British television and radio. His writing has appeared in the Financial Times, the Guardian, and elsewhere.
 
Published September 10, 2013 by Mariner Books. 480 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Forgotten Ally
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Aug 07 2013

There are many side tales and numerous other characters in the book, yet Mitter’s narrative élan, in the manner of David McCullough, creates a complex history that is urgently alive. An important, well-told tale of China at war.

Read Full Review of Forgotten Ally: China's World... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Gordon G. Chang on Sep 06 2013

Throughout his book, Mitter discusses a “new compact between state and society,” as the country became “more militarized, categorized and bureaucratized.” Because of the exigencies of the fighting, the rival Nationalists and Communists demanded much more from populations under their control...

Read Full Review of Forgotten Ally: China's World... | See more reviews from NY Times

Washington Times

Good
Reviewed by John Taylor on Jan 01 2014

For most Europeans, World War II began with Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939. Many Asians, however, date the war from May 1937...“Forgotten Ally” is must reading for anyone seeking a full perspective on the Pacific war.

Read Full Review of Forgotten Ally: China's World... | See more reviews from Washington Times

The Economist

Good
on Jun 22 2013

Mr Mitter’s book rectifies...distortions of history. But the ghosts of the war with Japan have never been laid to rest.

Read Full Review of Forgotten Ally: China's World... | See more reviews from The Economist

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