Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

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Marcus
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Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by Marcus » 20 Apr 2008 19:20

The idea of this sticky is to collect recommendations on (preferably English language) on books dealing with China during the 1895-1949 period to help the members who want to learn more about them.

Please post the title, author and a short (or long) explanation as to why you feel that particular title deserves to be included.

/Marcus



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Marcus
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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by Marcus » 20 Apr 2008 21:26

I found "The Chinese Steam Navy 1862-1945" by Richard N. J. Wright interesting.

/Marcus

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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by SASH155 » 21 Apr 2008 18:01

Absolutely essential to an understanding of China between 1900 and 1949 is Barbara Tuchman's: "Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945". It is particularly interesting as regards the Warlord period of the 1920s and early 1930s, but also on the Sino-Japanese War; however it does not pretend to be a comprehensive history of China during this period.

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Patzinak
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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by Patzinak » 21 Apr 2008 18:50

SASH155 wrote:Absolutely essential to an understanding of China between 1900 and 1949 is Barbara Tuchman's: "Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945" […]
Tuchman's "Stilwell…" is very interesting (I'm partial -- I've always admired Tuchman as a historian), but I shouldn't described it as "essential".

I posted the list below in reply to a question regarding sources on Chinese warlordism.
  • Zarrow, Peter Gue (2005) China in War and Revolution, 1895–1949. London/New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415364485

    Ch'i, Hsi-sheng (1976) Warlord Politics in China, 1916–1928. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804708940.

    Sheridan, James E (1975) China in Disintegration : The Republican Era in Chinese History, 1912–1949. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0029286107.

    Bonavia, David (1995) China's Warlords. Hong Kong/New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195861795.

    Lary, Diana (1985) Warlord Soldiers : Chinese Common Soldiers, 1911–1937. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521302706.

    Forbes, Andrew DW (1986) Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia : A Political History of Republican Sinkiang 1911–1949. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521255147.

    McCord, Edward Allen (1993) The Power of the Gun : The Emergence of Modern Chinese Warlordism. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0520081285.
On background: Zarrow is a thoughtful, dense, academic work; it's not an easy read, but it's rewarding and provides an up-to-date account of the whole era.

On warlords in general: Sheridan and Ch'i are classics; although somewhat out of date, they're still worth reading. Bonavia is well-written and addressed to the general public, while Lary is a useful if slim volume providing the view from below.

On specific areas: Forbes and McCord concentrate on specific regions. The former deals with the complex area of Xinjiang, and it's a difficult (it's basically his PhD thesis) but informative read. McCord, by focusing on Hunan-Hubei, provides an in-depth look at the origin and evolution of warlordism.

--Patzinak

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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by South » 21 Apr 2008 21:29

Good afternoon Marcus and all,

I'd add:

"The ORIGINS OF CHINESE BOLSHEVISM-An Ideology in the Making, 1920-1928", Michael Y.L. Luk, 1990, ISBN: 0-19-584209-X.

Luk's book gives much of the political philosophical background - coupled with loads of facts - on what was going on.

Part III is titled "Understanding and analysing the Context of the Revolution" with it's chapters 6 and 7 titled:

6. "Chinese Society and Classes in the Marxist-Leninist Mirror" and

7. "China and the World: The Interplay between Nationalism and Internationalism".

The footnotes are a work in itself. There's an appendix with names of the early members of the Chinese Communist movement.

Besides books - or to augment them - it really helps to have a map of China with the peripherial areas China claims under the "Unequal Treaties". Note that currently, PRC does not have an outlet to the Sea of Japan. The related Augun Treaty of 1858 with Russia is called an "Unequal Treaty".

A few sources for this type of historical map are available.

............

Concur Sash; especially for the Western reader, Tuchman's book adds much. Plus, where else can a reader see a picture of a US Army General wearing a sweaty shirt ? !

...........


Warm regards,

Bob

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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by Panzer Leader » 05 Jul 2008 19:49

Mao-The Unknown Story

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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by David Thompson » 05 Jul 2008 20:30

McCord, Edward A., The Power of the Gun: The Emergence of Modern Chinese Warlordism, Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press: 1993. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft167nb0p4/

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China's Anti-Japanese War Battlefield Operations-1949

Post by asiaticus » 31 Oct 2008 21:20

China's Anti-Japanese War Battlefield Operations

中国抗日战争正面战场作战记
• 作者:郭汝瑰,黄玉章 主编
• 出版社:江苏人民出版社
• 出版日期:2005-7-1
• ISBN:7214030349


China's Anti-Japanese War combat operations
• Author : Guo Rugui, editor-in-chief Huang Yuzhang
• Press : Jiangsu People's Publishing House
• Date published : 2005-7-1
• ISBN:7214030349

Also on line: http://www.wehoo.net/book/wlwh/a30012/A0170.htm

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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by ralphrepo » 14 Feb 2009 18:05

The Boxer Rebellion: The Dramatic Story of China's War on Foreigners that Shook the World in the Summer of 1900
by Diana Preston
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Berkley Books (July 10, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425180840
ISBN-13: 978-0425180846
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches

http://www.amazon.com/Boxer-Rebellion-D ... 0425180840

Great book in illuminating the changes that then threw China into turmoil as the Great Qing lost their grip on their nation. The Boxer Rebellion was the final blow to the Qing, revealing it to be only a powerless shadow lost on the world stage. This ultimately was the harbinger to the political balkanization of China in the War Lord period, where foreigner and Chinese alike vied for their share of the Chinese pie.

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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by Mike Blake » 19 Feb 2009 11:16

The Diana Preston book is a 'good read' but like most is almost entirely Euro-centric and repeats many of the old myths about the Imperial Chinese forces involved. For a more balanced view I recommend:

Jane E Elliott. Some Did It For Civilisation; Some Did It For Their Country: A Revised View of the Boxer War. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2002.

Using numerous Chinese sources, the author seeks to show that the ICA was not as useless and comically out of date as most Western writes have depicted it. Even just going back to the primary Allied accounts reveals that the soldiers fighting the Chinese had a great deal of respect for them.

I could add a number of good books on the BU, from populist and easy to find to academic and rare, if anyone is intersted in reading more about the 8 Power invasion of China?

Mike

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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by Brady » 26 Mar 2009 19:19

p.

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Mike Blake
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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by Mike Blake » 26 Mar 2009 20:14

Brady - is this a 'p' for 'please do', or a posting that was cut off before completed?

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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by asiaticus » 09 Jul 2009 20:27

New online location for China's Anti-Japanese War Combat Operations by Guo Rugui

* '''中国抗日战争正面战场作战记''' (China's Anti-Japanese War Combat Operations)
** Guo Rugui, editor-in-chief Huang Yuzhang
** Jiangsu People's Publishing House
** Date published : 2005-7-1
** ISBN:7214030349
** Online in Chinese: http://www.xiaoshuo.com/readindex/index_00163571.html

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Robert24
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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by Robert24 » 24 Aug 2010 13:59

History of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), Hsu & Chang: Nationalist slant, great maps.

The Chinese High Command, Winston: Great PLA etymology.

Robert

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Re: Recommended reading on China at War 1895-1949

Post by Li Tsung Jen » 24 Nov 2010 20:59

For the Second Sino Japanese war I highly recomend the following if you can find them:

The Best english source is:

The Sino Japanese war 1937-1941 by Frank Dorn. Best english account of the war.

China at War 1901-1949 by Edward Dreyer also great.

When Tigers Fight by Dick Wilson. This is OK.

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