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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2023
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Book description

When World War II ended Chiang Kai-shek seemed at the height of his power-the leader of Nationalist China, one of the victorious Allied Powers in 1945 and with the financial backing of the US. Yet less than four years later, he lost the China's civil war against the communists. Offering an insightful chronological treatment of the years 1944–1949, Parks Coble addresses why Chiang was unable to win the war and control hyperinflation. Using newly available archival sources, he reveals the critical weakness of Chiang's style of governing, the fundamental structural flaws in the Nationalist government, bitter personal rivalries and Chiang's personal lack of interest in finance. This major work of revisionist scholarship will engage all those interested in the shaping of twentieth-century history.


‘… concise and engaging … of interest to professional historians and accessible to graduate and undergraduate students.’

Harold Tanner Source: The China Quarterly

‘… [an] excellent treatment of the Chinese economy. Including this monograph in a graduate seminar on modern China would certainly generate lively and productive discussion among students.’

Linh D. Vu Source: Journal of Chinese History

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