Excellent – China’s War with Japan, 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival

This is an excellent book. It is highly readable and based on extensive research. There is also a useful list of Further Reading at the end of the book.

Other readers have set out at length the scope of this book. So, I won’t repeat them here. I would just like to point out the question posed in the book at p 17 – ” (Since China and Japan) were ‘as close as lips and teeth’ how did they come to fight one of the bloodiest wars in history? “. In my respectful view, the question has not been answered clearly in the book. The suggestion that the diffusion of power (from the Qing government to the warlords) encouraged the invasion of China (p 22); and that the fight for influence over Korea was the cause of the invasion is not supported by the evidence.

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