Cover: Accidental State: Chiang Kai-shek, the United States, and the Making of Taiwan, from Harvard University PressCover: Accidental State in HARDCOVER

Accidental State

Chiang Kai-shek, the United States, and the Making of Taiwan

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Product Details


$42.00 • £33.95 • €38.00

ISBN 9780674659810

Publication Date: 03/14/2016


352 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

17 halftones, 2 maps


A pleasure to read… What Lin does in this fine book is examine the confused situation that existed from 1949 to 1954, leading up to the [Chinese Nationalist Party’s] realization that the game was up in China and the decision by the Americans to finally sign a formal treaty with Taipei.—Bradley Winterton, The Taipei Times

This book provides an engaging account of the process by which Taiwan became the final redoubt of the ‘Republic of China’ following Chiang Kai-shek’s defeat in his civil war with the Communist Party of China. Under Lin’s skillful hands this seemingly straightforward story is revealed as a complicated Cold War tale of domestic and international intrigue, with consequences far beyond Taiwan’s emergence as an ‘accidental state.’—Edward A. McCord, author of Military Force and Elite Power in the Formation of Modern China

A model of rigorous scholarship and revisionist argument. Using a wide variety of primary materials, Lin shows the early Cold War in Asia was a time of fast and unexpected change and that the establishment of a new polity on Taiwan came about in highly contingent circumstances. This is a powerful and exciting argument to our understanding of modern Cold War and Chinese history.—Rana Mitter, author of Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937–1945

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