AnEconomistBook of the Year
AFinancial TimesBook of the Year
“A book that has long cried out to be written.” —Observer(UK), Books of the Year
In 1937, two years before Hitler invaded Poland, Chinese troops clashed with Japanese occupiers in the first battle of World War II. Joining with the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, China became the fourth great ally in a devastating struggle for its very survival.
Prizewinning historian Rana Mitter unfurls China’s drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue as never before. Based on groundbreaking research, this gripping narrative focuses on a handful of unforgettable characters, including Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, and Chiang’s American chief of staff, “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell. Mitter also recounts the sacrifice and resilience of everyday Chinese people through the horrors of bombings, famines, and the infamous Rape of Nanking.
More than any other twentieth-century event, World War II was crucial in shaping China’s worldview, makingForgotten Allyboth a definitive work of history and an indispensable guide to today’s China and its relationship with the West.
“In the manner of David McCullough, [Mitter] creates a complex history that is urgently alive.” —Kirkus Reviews
The epic, untold story of China’s devastating eight-year war of resistance against Japan in World War II.
RANA MITTER is a professor of modern Chinese history at the University of Oxford and the author of several books, includingA Bitter Revolution. He is a regular contributor to television and radio in Britain and around the world. His writing has appeared in theFinancial Times,theGuardian, and elsewhere.