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About the sources used in the book ...


The Generalissimo draws heavily on the work of distinguished Chinese, Taiwan, and American historians, writers, and political science scholars. Of special significance are those secondary sources that drew upon new Chinese Communist Party and Peoples Liberation Army archival material. I have tried to give these critical contributions full credit in the book’s more than 2,000 end notes. But this biography’s reappraisal of Chiang’s leadership and the major historical events in which he was involved for more than 50 years spring most importantly from new sources in Taiwan, China, Russia, and the United States.


This fresh material includes:  

  • Chiang’s original diaries which began in 1918 and ended in 1972. As of February 2009, the diaries released by the Chiang family to the Hoover Institution Library Archives ran through through 1955. There are more than 400 citations of the diaries in The Generalissimo.

  • A 12-volume collection of diary quotes, letters, memoranda, speeches, and Chinese Government records of conversations and meetings through 1958 edited by Mr. Qin Xiaoyi and published by the Chungcheng Culture and Education Foundation in Taipei.  

  • Key communications found in archives in Moscow between the Comintern and CCP leaders, including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, as well as Comintern agents in China. 

  • Hundreds of interviews in Taiwan, China, and the United States, including with close relatives of Chiang, his doctors, his Christian minister, KMT officials, Nationalist Army officers, and other persons who knew and worked with him, as well as local researchers and distant relatives in his home town of Xikou in Jejiang Province. 

  • Numerous interviews on Taiwan and the mainland with emminent scholars of the period.

  • The papers, diaries, and taped interviews  of  “The Young Marshal” from Manchuria, Zhang Xueliang, released in 2002 by the Columbia University Chinese Oral History Project.

  • Key papers of T.V. Soong released in 2003 by the Hoover Institution Library Archives.

  • New memoirs published in recent years, including those of: Chiang Kai-shek’s secretaries and assistants; the Kuangxi war lord Bai Chongxi, KMT generals captured in Manchuria during the Civil War; American OSS and CIA officers involved in China affairs, and others.

  • Extensive  interviews now available on CDs of  numerous US diplomats involved with Chinese and Taiwan affairs from the late 1940s to 1975.

  • Separate Chinese-language documentaries about a  former Green Gang leader in Shanghai, Madam Chiang, and General Li Sunjen.

  • A new valuable collection of the papers of George C. Marshall and the extensive interview notes of a Marshall biographer.

  • Classified documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests to the CIA and the State Department.

  • Classified documents found at the U.S. National Archives, College Park, Maryland.

  • Fascinating, not long published US Government documents in the Department of State’s Foreign Relations of the United States series on US/China/Taiwan relations from the late 1960s through the Nixon visit to China in 1972.

  • Unique  papers on the War of Resistance against Japan from two recent Harvard University conferences of scholars from China, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States.

 {More to come}

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