It’s the beginning of 1949. Harry Truman is President and two pressing international issues are in his docket. While the United States has long had a monopoly on nuclear research and has taken steps to have the UN regulate any further nuclear development, the Soviet Union has rejected that proposal and continues to work on creating nuclear devices of their own. And across mainland China, Mao Zedong and his army have been capturing cities like Bejing and Shanghai, cities that have been longstanding US strongholds. Across Europe and Asia, communism is no longer just a threat. Meanwhile, Truman’s occupation wth foreign fires has taken his attention away from domestic affairs and he’s steadily gained more political enemies than he can keep at bay. By October of 1949, communist revolutionary Mao Zedong will name himself head of state and fly a new flag in the new People’s Republic of China. Former Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek will have sought refuge in Taiwan, and the United States will have made a new kind of commitment to the island country and begun what will become a thirty-year-long break in diplomatic relations with the communist Chinese republic.
A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949 is Kevin Peraino’s well researched book that documents these events with such detail, readers will feel like they’ve been transported back into that era of uncertainty, like an anxious citizen listening to the radio, perhaps, white knuckled with fear as President Truman releases a ” white paper” outlining the state of the world and admitting that no amount of US aid could have prevented what just happened. Imagine all the money and power at your disposal and not being able to achieve what you wanted most. Wait, isn’t that happening right now?
Author Kevin Peraino is a veteran foreign correspondent and using recently declassified CIA documents for his research, he has compiled a book that is an intriguing transcript of mid 20th century history but is also a guide to understanding the present and future as China continues to gain economic power and presence in the global marketplace.
Read A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949 if, like me, you are interested in the history of the world and how political borders were created. Read this book if you ever read news articles and wonder, “How did we get here?” If you ever wonder why almost every consumer product has a Made In China sticker affixed to it, this might be the book that helps you understand the policy behind the creation of the communist regime, the country’s economic success in spite of US recognition, and what really led to the eventual renewal of diplomatic relations.
- Title: A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949
- Author: Kevin Peraino
- Pages: 276 plus notes
- Published: February 2018
I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in complete this review.
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