Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the China He Lost
Jonathan Fenby

Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the China He Lost

With a narrative as briskly paced and vividly detailed as an international thriller, this definitive biography of Chiang Kai-shek masterfully maps the tumultuous political career of Nationalist China's generalissimo as it reevaluates his brave but unfulfilled life. Chiang Kai-shek was one of the most influential world figures of the twentieth century. The leader of the Kuomintang, the Nationalist movement in China, by 1928 he had established himself as head of the government in Nanking. But while he managed to survive the political storms of the 1930s, Chiang's power was continually being undermined by the Japanese on one side and the Chinese Communists on the other. Drawing extensively on original Chinese sources and accounts by contemporaneous journalists, acclaimed author Jonathan Fenby explores little-known international connections in Chiang's story as he unfolds a story as fascinating in its conspiratorial intrigues as it is remarkable for its psychological insights. This is the definitive biography of the man who, despite his best intentions, helped create modern-day China.

Book Details:

  • Author: Jonathan Fenby
  • Published Year: 2003
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Free Press
    • US: Carrol & Graf
Jonathan Fenby

Jonathan Fenby

Jonathan Fenby has published twenty books, mainly on modern global history, China and France. In a journalistic career spanning four decades, he was Editor of The Observer, the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong (during the handover from Britain to China) and Reuters World Service. He also held senior editorial posts at The Economist, The Independent and The Guardian and has been a foreign correspondent in Vietnam, Germany and France where he spent twelve years working for Reuters, The Economist and The Times. After returning to the UK from Hong Kong in 2000, he was a founding partner of...
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Book Reviews

  • "Masterly…a fascinating portrait."
    The Observer
  • "An epic tale [which] Fenby tells with panache."
    Sunday Times
  • "Excellent…highly readable."
    The Economist
  • "The author proves himself a master of his material….a fast-paced, fair-minded account of a complex career…. [the] coherent narrative, enriched by telling observations and engaging vignettes, fills an important gap in the public understanding of both Chiang and modern China."
    Literary Review
  • "Vivid and fascinating."
    Scotland on Sunday
  • "Magisterial."
    History Today
  • "Excellent….History, somehow, isn’t as colourful any more."
    Daily Telegraph