!!> PDF / Epub ☄ Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-45 ✑ Author Barbara W. Tuchman – Buyphenergan500.us

Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-45Tuchman Uses The Epic Life Of Vinegar Joe Stilwell, Commander Of United States Forces And Allied Chief Of Staff To Chiang Kai Shek, To Explore The History Of China From The Revolution Of To The Turmoil Of World War II, When China S Nationalist Government Faced Attack From Japanese Invaders And Communist Insurgents

!!> PDF / Epub ☄ Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-45 ✑ Author Barbara W. Tuchman – Buyphenergan500.us
  • Hardcover
  • 621 pages
  • Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-45
  • Barbara W. Tuchman
  • English
  • 04 June 2018
  • 9780802138521

    10 thoughts on “!!> PDF / Epub ☄ Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-45 ✑ Author Barbara W. Tuchman – Buyphenergan500.us


  1. says:

    All the previous books of Barbara Tuchman that I ve read have had a picture of the author, looking something like this Older, with the Sandra Day O Connor hairdo, well heeled, professorial even Nothing wrong with that, of course but it does conjure up a certain delicacy, a life lived in equal parts libraries and privilege.But on the back of this book, Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911 45, the author looks out at me from atop a burro, her means of transportation in the 1930s in China at the time of the Japanese invasion, looking very much like Christiane Amanpour without the makeup There even appears to be a pack of cigarettes in her shirt pocket a dealbreaker now, of course, but kind of essential in that time and place Not that she needs pictorial validation She is, after all, one of the greatest writers of history, with the awards to prove it But, she was THERE So, she has street cred or village cred, or jungle cred However, this story is not told just on the basis of a lived experience Tuchman managed to get Stilwell s widow to let her see and use Stilwell s journals They are a treasure trove And she convinced Mrs Stilwell that it was important to use it all, warts and all.Tuchman has this way of finding almost obscure characters and revealing an entire period of history through them She did that through Enguerrand de Coucy VII ever heard of him to explain the 14th Century And now Stilwell Vinegar Joe, Uncle Joe to explainwell 20th Century Chinese history military bureaucracy British imperialistic aims in WWII why the Chinese hate the word no why Mountbatten was a horse s ass why Chiang Kai shek was a horse s ass why we picked the wrong horse why you can t be honest No, I mean that, really You d be lucky just to have a very wise woman on a burro to set things right.There was so much wisdom in this book from Tuchman, from Stilwell, from others.Stilwell You will hear a lot of talk about how this or that generation messed things up and got us into war What nonsense All living generations are responsible for what we do and all dead ones as well.Tuchman The first essential in war is an army that will not run away.And others Nelson s selection was the genesis of a principle of political appointment You get three years in Washington to find out whether or not you are a schlemiel, Morgenthau said of him at the time to his assistant Harry Dexter White And if you are you get promoted, White replied.Stilwell is written as a brilliant military mind, with a love for China and its people, possessed of great, unselfish courage, but constitutionally incapable of suffering fools And he wrote without a filter, which is so richly rewarding now but must have bedeviled the recipients of his missives To one subordinate, he radioed, Do not shoot yourself before notifying me three days in advance Allow me to gush This is a great book This is an important book.You have to read this book if you want to understand the gestation of the cold war how stupid we were how, unlike Stilwell, we never understood Asian Communism wanna take a cruise to shop in Vietnam how politics poisons and maybe why they hate us.No one comes off worse than Chiang Kai shek But the powers that be chose him over Stilwell, even though they all knew better I wanted to grab Roosevelt, grab Marshall, grab Hopkins, Churchill, Mountbatten, and say Will you open your eyes, forget self interest and do the right thing Which, by the way, is what Stilwell couldn t stop himself from saying And which is why, though he had the most difficult assignment and had great success, he was recalled and every single person involved in that decision, even George C Marshall can you believe it , should feel shame.But the Americans Americans find it difficult to remember Thomas Jefferson did not operate in Asia.The Brits No nation has ever produced a military history of such verbal nobility as the British Retreat or advance, win or lose, blunder or bravery, murderous folly or unyielding resolution, all emerge alike clothed in dignity and touched with glory Every engagement is gallant, every battle a decisive action There is no shrinking from superlatives every campaign produces a general or generalship hailed as the most brilliant of the war Everyone is splendid soldiers are staunch, commanders are cool, the fighting magnificent Whatever the fiasco, aplomb is unbroken Mistakes, failures, stupidities or other causes of disaster mysteriously vanish Disasters are recorded with care and pride and become transmuted into things of beauty Official histories record every move in monumental and infinite detail but the details serve to obscure Why Singapore fell or how the Sittang happened remains shrouded Other nations attempt but never quite achieve the same self esteem It was not by might but by the power of her self image that Britain in her century dominated the world That this was irrecoverable and that no successor would inherit it was not yet clear in 1944.Barbara Tuchman can say that, of course Because, like Stilwell, she tried to know a people, because, yes, she rode a burro and smoked Luckies, because she got a widow to share her memories Because she was there.


  2. says:

    Somehow in my reading experience, I missed this Barbara Tuchman book and I thought I had read all of her works I am so glad I found it since it opens up some of the little known facts about China during WWIIa puzzle within a puzzle within a puzzle At almost 700 pages one might think it would be a dry read but it is fascinating and certainly explodes some of the myths about China s role in WWII Although American General Vinegar Joe Stilwell is featured, he is only a part of the overall history and much attention is given to Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek and his machinations to keep money and equipment flowing to China while doing nothing to advance the cause of the Allies against Japan.This is an eye opening book which I feel sets the record straight about the role of China which was less than honorable.


  3. says:

    I first read this book about 25 years ago I recently read the Fenby biography of Chiang Kai Shek, and really felt the need to go back and re read the Stilwell biography Along with McCullough s Truman, this is one of the finest biographies I have ever read The Stilwell biography relentlessly pounds home the lesson that we as Americans can never expect members of alien cultures to have the same goals and motivations that we have Stilwell tried mightily to get Chiang to fight China s Japanese invaders, and utterly failed As a result, Chiang lost the respect of the Chinese people, and became highly vulnerable to being ousted by the Communists So the simple answer to the burning question of the 1950 s Who lost China is Chiang Before the U.S invests blood and treasure in any foreign country with the idea that we are going to somehow install a free and democratic poplitical system, we should ask hard questions about whether it is worth it to make the effort, and whether or not there is any serious hope of success.


  4. says:

    This book illustrates well the dangers of involvement in a foreign country even during wartime when the cause appears justified Stillwell was obviously a good candidate to be America s representative he had already spent several years in China and spoke the language He certainly was not someone, common in this day and age, who arrives at the airport hotel and is surrounded by an entourage of well wishers Stillwell was independent minded and often clashed with both the Chinese government and those in Washington.It did not take Stillwell long to realize that the Kuomintang and Chiang Kai shek were not acting in the best interests of the Chinese people The Chinese peasant had to pay a wide assortment of taxes to the Kuomintang ruling party, where corruption and graft were endemic The soldiers in their army were not even being fed and the wounded and sick were left to die.What is apparent is the vast disconnect between those in the foreign country and the illusions of those, in this case, the United States Chiang was portrayed as a great and struggling democrat whose country was being invaded and ravaged by the Japanese only the last part of this is true Chiang and his wife were featured as the Man and Wife of the year in Time magazine.It was only in 1943 that Roosevelt started to re evaluate the enormous amount of Lend lease funds and equipment that were being poured into China Instead of using this to fight the Japanese, it was being hoarded and sold on the black market the money disappearing at an alarming rate into the expanding coffers of the Kuomintang generals Time and again Stillwell would attempt various methods to persuade Chiang and his generals to fight Chiang and his wife were crafty politicians who knew how to manoeuvre between Stillwell and Washington and keep the Lend Lease flow alive They had there own powerful lobbyists in Washington pushing their noble fight against Japanese oppression They could hardly mention that they were spending time fighting the Chinese communists, and that these same Chinese communists were far successful in reforming and improving the life of the masses of the Chinese peasants.This is a long book, with the advantage that one gets a detailed look at foreign entanglements that are still valid to this day I found the sections on the fighting in Burma now Myanmar belaboured Given the wide scope of World War II, sadly, the sacrifices here, had little impact on Japan s downfall.Stillwell almost comes off as a masochist with his futile persistence in trying to get Chiang Kai shek to reform his government and his army over many, many years Stilwell s dream was to have the Chinese army defeat and remove the Japanese army from China, and then participate in the invasion of Japan this was an illusion on a grand scale I found a interesting viewpoint of this entire dilemma in the book of Hannah Pakula, The Last Empress Madame Chiang Kai shek and the Birth of Modern China.


  5. says:

    It is difficult to decide whether this title is best categorized as history, for it is about China, or biography, for it China as seen through the career of Joseph Stilwell Indeed, it is often through his eyes as Tuchman had access through his surviving family to Stilwell s correspondence, notes and voluminous journals.In any case, you will learn about the man, the nation and about the eastern theatre of the second world war from reading this book You will not have to know much in advance Tuchman is a popular historian, not expecting much of her readers and adept at seamlessly filling in the historical and cultural backgrounds to events when necessary You don t even need to care much about any of these subjects Tuchman, at her best, writes a narrative as interesting as a novel You ll learn despite yourself while enjoying the read.


  6. says:

    Barbara Tuchman is a great historian We are very much blessed to have access to her voice She writes with admirable, enviable clarity and authority.This work is notable for two principal reasons 1 the origins of America s confrontation with Japan in WWII are complex much owes to America s sympathies toward China and much of our sympathetic behavior owes to the efforts of American missionaries, print publications and the efforts of Chiang Kai shek and his wife, the ever popular Madame Chiang Ms Tuchman well describes the evolution of public opinion Sadly, even today, I believe America has failed to acknowledge much guilt for its longstanding support of the fascist, dictatorial Kuomintang government 2 Ms Tuchman describes Joseph Stilwell as an extremely capable and dedicated field commander, perhaps the most capable and deserving of the command roster Yet, Stilwell was asked to command a sector where success was an impossibility There s an important life story here what happens when an eminently capable person is asked to commit years to an impossible effort I think I would have shown one tenth the commitment of Joseph Stilwell.I m left with the counterfactuals How would China have responded to Japanese aggression if Stilwell s military reforms were taken to heart How would US China relations have developed if the US had taken a embracing posture toward Mao Would Japan have behaved differently toward the US if America had a circumspect view of Chiang s government, rather than the na ve narrative that prevailed in the late 30s A great work 5 stars.


  7. says:

    Gave up on this book about half way through The good things about this book are the parts about Stilwell and his experience in the American military The bad parts are the dumb racism that Tuchman engages in By racism, I mean that she often discounts the ability of Asians to be democratic or intelligent or comprehensible just because they are Asian When writing about J.O.P Bland, a western leader in the treaty ports, she tells us that Bland stated that democracy is wholly inaplicable because unitelligable, to the race mind of Asia Tuchman s response That was true enough Of course, this racism is reprehensible enough for its stupidity in anyone, but it is particularly unacceptable from a historian By thinking that many of the actors in her story have a race mind that does not allow them to comprehend universal values like democracy, she is not able to understand half of the people she talks about in her book, denuding much of her history of its ability to comprehend its subjects On the positive end, Tuchman is great at understanding the American military, and this half of her drama is well told Still, it doesn t make up for the problems in the rest of her text.


  8. says:

    Raise your hand if you ever heard the name Joseph Stilwell How about Eisenhower McArthur George Marshall Chester Nimitz Yah, Stilwell was right up there with them as a 4 star general and commander of the China Burma India theater during World War II He didn t become president in fact, he died a year after the war ended He didn t become Secretary of State like Marshall He wasn t a demigod like McArthur There s no nuclear powered aircraft carrier named after him Why Interesting story, actually He was Eisenhower s and McArthur s equal as a theater commander Eisenhower in Europe, McArther in the Pacific, Stilwell in China Burma India Europe was a predominantly Anglo American led theater So was the Pacific The Anglo American approach to war is offensive aggression Take it to the enemy China had been occupied to one degree or another by the Japanese for 9 years by the time Pearl Harbor was attacked The Nationalist government s approach to the occupation and their part in the war was precisely the opposite passive Wait until others defeat the Japanese for us.It was such a radically illogical outlook to war fighting to the Americans that Stilwell had what was openly acknowledged as an impossible job to train and command the Chinese forces The Nationalist government was inept Chiang Kai shek s ineptitude stood out or at least it stands out in retrospect But his appeal to Americans, who were twitterpated with all things Chinese, blinded the U.S to the futility of his leadership and their relationship with China Stilwell was railroaded, manipulated, cornered, and misled by Chiang for three years until he was forced to be recalled The stall tactics of the Chinese prevented any major military campaign from ever taking place in the theater Obviously this keeps C B I out of American war accounts We hear about flying over the hump, which was arguably America s greatest, and maybe even its only, achievement in the theater But we don t hear about Burma or the recapture of Rangoon by Stilwell who was the only theater commander to be personally involved in much less lead front line fighting.He was not a cuddly personality Vinegar Joe was his nickname He wasn t a collaborator like Eisenhower he had no problem circumventing authority in order to fulfill missions He wasn t conniving and domineering like McArthur But he was a brilliant tactician His wartime contributions were ultimately overshadowed by the uncontrollable circumstances of strategically less important geography which became expendable with the progress in the Pacific an unnameable, yet indispensable foreign government and a personality that won him no friends in important places the White House, Chongqing, Delhi.


  9. says:

    This is very large book covering history I knew almost nothing about World war II in China and Burma A key reason I knew nothing about it is, I suppose, because it was so unimportant to the overall prosecution of the war and victory After reading the book, I now realize that it was very important in a terrible sort of way The fact is that the huge amount of war material that was sent to China, in the belief that China would fight the Japs, was totally and completely wasted The loss of this material probably prolonged the war in Europe for an extra year and led to 10 s of thousands of extra allied deaths.The reason this huge quatity was sent to China at enormous expense was President Roosevelt had gotten into his head that Chang Kai Shek would defeat the Japs who occupied China and after the war, the four great powers, the U.S Britain, Russia and China would from an alliance that would ensure world peace for the future.Roosevelt had surrounded himself with yes men who did nothing to explain to their chief that Chang and his aides were a bunch of gangsters Half of the material provided was sold in the black market and the other half was stored in warehouses to be ready for the civil war that would follow the defeat of Japan by the U.S.General Stillwell was sent to China in 1942 to direct the use of the Chinese troops and the war material to fight the Japanese This was a thankless task because Chang never had any intentions of actually fighting Chang finally had Stillwell fired because he annoyed him so much with repeated efforts to get China to fight At this point Roosevelt had to comply because Chang threatened to basically reveal to the public that all the materials had been wasted This is a very sad read.


  10. says:

    WWII was Eurocentric That is, American policy and conduct of the war in the Far East was largely determined by events in Europe While Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and MacArthur became household names, folks either have to go to a war museum or read this book to learn about General Joseph Vinegar Joe Stilwell Stilwell fought not only the Japanese, but all the maladies and dangers of jungle fighting He did so with secondary or even tertiary priority for both troops and supplies, with mounting frustration over the fact that the US would not provide arms to the communists, who would fight the Japanese, and instead gave them to the Nationalists, who stockpiled them for a post war fight with the communists For a history book it is exceptionally easy to read.

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