China's War with Japan, 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival

China's War with Japan, 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival

Hardback

By (author) Rana Mitter

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Paperback $19.18
  • Publisher: ALLEN LANE
  • Format: Hardback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 236mm x 38mm | 907g
  • Publication date: 27 June 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846140102
  • ISBN 13: 9781846140105
  • Illustrations note: 2 x 8pp b&w
  • Sales rank: 54,744

Product description

In Rana Mitter's tense, moving and hugely important book, the war between China and Japan - one of the most important struggles of the Second World War - at last gets the masterly history it deserves. Different countries give different opening dates for the period of the Second World War, but perhaps the most compelling is 1937, when the 'Marco Polo Bridge Incident' plunged China and Japan into a conflict of extraordinary duration and ferocity - a war which would result in many millions of deaths and completely reshape East Asia in ways which we continue to confront today. With great vividness and narrative drive Rana Mitter's new book draws on a huge range of new sources to recreate this terrible conflict. He writes both about the major leaders (Chiang Kaishek, Mao Zedong and Wang Jingwei) and about the ordinary people swept up by terrible times. Mitter puts at the heart of our understanding of the Second World War that it was Japan's failure to defeat China which was the key dynamic for what happened in Asia. Reviews: "Rana Mitter's history of the Sino-Japanese War is not only a very important book, it also has a wonderful clarity of thought and prose which make it a pleasure to read". (Antony Beevor). "The best study of China's war with Japan written in any language ...comprehensive, thoroughly based on research, and totally non-partisan. Above all, the book presents a moving account of the Chinese people's incredible suffering...A must read for anyone interested in the origins of China's contribution to the making of today's world". (Akira Iriye). About the author: Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Cross College. He is the author of A Bitter Revolution: China's Struggle with the Modern World. He is a regular presenter of Night Waves on Radio 3.

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Author information

Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Cross College. He is the author of A Bitter Revolution: China's Struggle with the Modern World. He is a regular presenter of Night Waves on Radio 3.

Review quote

A major contribution to the one aspect of the Second World War of which we know far too little, and should know much more if we are to understand the new superpower today ... a model of clarity and good writing -- Antony Beevor The Times Essential reading for anyone who wants to know more about the sacrifices made by the Chinese and the Poles as a contribution to victory -- Richard Overy New Statesman BOOKS OF THE YEAR A riveting account of a seldom-studied theatre of the Second World War, that has profound significance for international diplomacy today -- Dan Jones Telegraph BOOKS OF THE YEAR Restores a vital part of the wartime narrative to its rightful place ... a remarkable story, told with humanity and intelligence; all historians of the second world war will be in Mitter's debt ... [he] explores this complex politics with remarkable clarity and economy ... No one could ask for a better guide than Mitter to how [the rise of modern China] began in the cauldron of the Chinese war -- Richard Overy Guardian The best study of China's war with Japan written in any language ... comprehensive, thoroughly based on research, and totally non-partisan. Above all, the book presents a moving account of the Chinese people's incredible suffering ... A must read for anyone interested in the origins of China's contribution to the making of today's world -- Akira Iriye Brilliant ... makes an important and moving contribution to the historical record by illuminating the largely forgotten war that took the lives of millions of Chinese, yet ultimately facilitated the rise of modern China -- Dr Henry A. Kissinger To understand East Asia's present and future, you have to understand its experiences in the Second World War. Mitter's elegant, rigorous and balanced account is an ideal guide to traumas that continue to cast a long shadow over the region -- Julia Lovell Telegraph Illuminating and meticulously researched ... [China's War with Japan] is about the Chinese experience of war, the origins of the modern Chinese identity and the roots of a relationship that will shape Asia in the 21st century. It is about China's existential crisis as it tried to regain its centrality in Asia. It is also a story, pure and simple, of heroic resistance against massive odds Economist Mitter deftly sketches the plight of Chinese intellectuals ... This is a many-stranded story and the author keeps his focus on the big picture while including many convincing, often horrific, details ... [this] is the best narrative of that long-ago war, whose effects still linger in China today, with Japan the major hate figure -- Jonathan Mirsky Spectator Deserves to be read by anyone interested in China, World War II and the future of China's relations with the rest of the world ... Mitter masterfully constructs these interlocking stories of battles, famines, massacres, diplomacy and intrigue. He sprinkles his narrative with foot soldiers, missionaries, journalists and teachers, showing how the war affected all levels of society throughout China ... excellent ... groundbreaking -- John Pomfret Washington Post This is a story told mainly from the Chinese perspective, in all its horror. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Mitter pulls together a rich and complex narrative without losing the drama of China's fight for survival and the individuals who played a part in it ... lively [and] comprehensive Prospect Lucid prose, forceful argument ... Mitter's strength lies in telling a compelling, comprehensive story that helps us understand China better, particularly at a time when it looms large on the global stage ... [he] reminds us of the 'tragic, titanic struggle' that the country waged ... For those willing to understand China better, this is a book that should not be ignored Outlook, New Delhi Mitter deftly sketches the plight of Chinese intellectuals, who wondered where to place their loyalties, and were persecuted if they chose the Communist side ... This is a many-stranded story and the author keeps his focus on the big picture while including many convincing, often horrific, details ... his is the best narrative of that long-ago war, whose effects still linger in China today -- Jonathan Mirsky The Asian Age A splendid account Business Standard Mitter's stress on the contingent nature of China's path to modernization is significant International Affairs The Chinese part of the Second World War is too often forgotten in the West - this fine book goes far towards remedying that amnesia -- Nigel Jones Sunday Telegraph