When Soong Meiling, better known to the world as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, died in October 2003, her life of over a century almost exactly paralleled America’s own century of direct involvement with Asia, which began with the acquisition of the Philippines. Alone among Western Powers, the United States championed an Open Door policy toward China. The Madame’s Christian family and her American education perfectly suited the American aspirations for a free and democratic China. And when Japan threatened both countries, the Madame, in perfect English, spoke directly to Americans as the heroic symbol of Chinese resistance. Never mind that she and her husband turned increasingly authoritarian and that the Guomindang was defeated by Chairman Mao Zedong’s communists. And never mind that she never really connected with the vast majority of Chinese living in the countryside. Today, as China is again catching up to the West in leaps and bounds, it is almost as if Soong Meiling, ending her life after a Rip Van Winkle-like retirement in the United States, is ushering in another century, when new Open Door Americans look toward China again. Here for a new generation of general readers and scholars are thoughtful reflections on the significant impact of a major twentieth-century figure who fascinated Americans for decades and had a significant impact on American perceptions of China.
About the Editor
Samuel C. Chu (1929-2013) was a Professor of History at Ohio State University.
China and Postsocialist Anthropology applies lessons learned from socialist governance, especially in China, to the realm of social theory. Socialist governance explicitly draws on various aspects of Marxist theory and thus directly illuminates issues as varied as theorizing power, imagining the relationship between continuity and discontinuity in historical process, utilizing the category of “the political” […]
Shaoyi Sun & Li Xun
In Lights! Camera! Kaishi! Sun and Li interview twenty-one young Chinese movie-makers on a variety of challenges facing them as cinema gradually emerges from the PRC’s long-standing censorship restrictions. Assembled by theme, the reader experiences a sense of eavesdropping on an open discussion between with these notable film directors. Includes biographical sketches (with color photos) of each […]
Richard L. Williams
The year 1979 marked turning points in both contemporary Chinese history and Sino-American relations. Deng Xiaoping initiated market reforms and an opening to the global economy which would transform China, with Guangzhou (Canton) at the forefront. Washington and Beijing’s mutual diplomatic recognition triggered an across-the-board expansion of relations between the United States and China. When […]
“I love freedom and I will long for the freedom of the soul and the dignity of being a human being for the rest of my life. I’m not the first nor am I the last to suffer or even to sacrifice a life to that idea. Prior to my imprisonment, I didn’t try to […]
Desaix Anderson was the first American charge d’affairs to Vietnam when diplomatic relations were reestablished in 1995 after a hiatus of almost twenty years. His role was to meet, analyse, report on, and influence the policy-level leaders of Vietnam as well as those officials responsible for executing those policies. His insights into the Vietnamese leadership […]
Taken from journals and letters written during the final decades of the Manchu Empire and the chaotic years of revolution and civil war leading up to the War of Resistance (1937–1945), this is the story of the life and work of the Protestant missionaries who opened their first station in the upper Min River region […]