Edited by Roger B. Jeans
Dismissed as an example of American naiveté and failure, the Marshall mission to China has been neglected in recent years by historians. Expertly edited and introduced by Roger Jeans, this book throws new light on the mission and its complexity through the eyes of the general's top aide at the time, Colonel John Hart Caughey. Moreover, the colonel's birds-eye portraits in letters and diaries of conditions in the Nationalist and Communist capitals as well as other key cities recreate the atmosphere of post-war China in refreshingly vivid terms.-Stephen R. MacKinnon, Arizona State University
This book breaks new ground in our understanding of a pivotal period in the history of American foreign policy, the early Cold War, and the struggle for dominance in China between the Nationalists and Communists. The famous Marshall Mission to China has been the focus of intense scrutiny ever since General George C. Marshall returned home in January 1947 and full-scale civil war consumed China. Yet until recently, there was little new to add to the story of the failure to avert war between the Chinese Nationalists, under Chiang Kai-shek, and the Chinese Communists, led by Mao Zedong. Drawing on a newly discovered insider's account, Roger Jeans makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of Marshall's failed mediation effort and the roles played by key Chinese figures.
Working from the letters and diary of U.S. Army Colonel John Hart Caughey, Jeans offers a fresh interpretation of the mission. From beginning to end, Caughey served as Marshall's executive offic er, in effect his right-hand man, assisting the general in his contacts with the Chinese and drafting key documents for him. Through his writings, Caughey provides a rare behind-the-scenes view of the general's mediation efforts as well as intimate glimpses of the major Chinese figures involved, including Chiang Kai-shek, Madame Chiang, and Zhou Enlai. In addition to daily contact with Marshall, Caughey often rubbed shoulders with these major Nationalist and Communist figures. As a meticulous eyewitness to history in the making, Caughey offers crucial insight into a key moment in post-World War II history.
Roger B. Jeans is the Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor of History Emeritus at Washington and Lee University.