War and Nationalism in China 1925-1945

War and Nationalism in China 1925-1945

War and Nationalism in China 1925-1945

War and Nationalism in China 1925-1945


In 1937, the Nationalists under Chiang Kaishek were leading the Chinese war effort against Japan and were lauded in the West for their efforts to transform China into an independent and modern nation; yet this image was quickly tarnished. The Nationalists were soon denounced as militarily incompetent, corrupt, and antidemocratic and Chiang Kaishek, the same.

In this book, van de Ven investigates the myths and truths of Nationalist resistance including issues such as:

  • the role of the US in East Asia during the Second World War
  • the achievements of Chiang Kaishek as Nationalist leader
  • the respective contributions of the Nationalists and the Communists to the defeat of Japan
  • the consequences of the Europe First strategy for Asia.

War and Nationalism in China offers a major new interpretation of the Chinese Nationalists, placing their war of resistance against Japan in the context of their prolonged efforts to establish control over their own country and providing a critical reassessment of Allied Warfare in the region. This groundbreaking volume will interest students and researchers of Chinese History and Warfare.


This book uses the Pinyin transliteration system, with a few arbitrary exceptions. In the case of some well-known Chinese and geographical names, I have used established English spellings. Thus, I use Chiang Kaishek rather than Jiang Jieshi and the Yellow River rather than the Huanghe. I also refer to the Nationalists' political party as the KMT (Kuo-min-tang) rather than the GMD (Guomindang), as some now do. In the Notes, I follow the conventional format except that in referencing documents from published collections of primary sources I provide only a translated title. These titles are long and were added by the compilers of these collections. To omit a long Pinyin transliteration seemed justifiable to keep the Notes accessible to a non-specialist audience and saved considerable space. Translations of titles of Chinese books and articles in the Notes can be found in the bibliography.

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