Reviews

  • The best study of China's war with Japan written in any language ... comprehensive, thoroughly based on research, and totally non-partisan. Above all, the book presents a moving account of the Chinese people's incredible suffering ... A must read for anyone interested in the origins of China's contribution to the making of today's world

    Akira Iriye
  • A major contribution to the one aspect of the Second World War of which we know far too little, and should know much more if we are to understand the new superpower today ... a model of clarity and good writing

    Antony Beevor, The Times
  • [Mitter] restores a vital part of the wartime narrative to its rightful place. Now, for the first time, it is possible to assess the impact of the war on Chinese society and the many factors that explain the Japanese failure in China and the eventual triumph of Mao Zhedong's communists in 1949, from which the superpower has grown. It is a remarkable story, told with humanity and intelligence; all historians of the second world war will be in Mitter's debt ... [he] explores this complex politics with remarkable clarity and economy ... No one could ask for a better guide than Mitter to how [the rise of modern China] began in the cauldron of the Chinese war

    Richard Overy, Guardian
  • Illuminating and meticulously researched ... [China's War with Japan] is about the Chinese experience of war, the origins of the modern Chinese identity and the roots of a relationship that will shape Asia in the 21st century. It is about China's existential crisis as it tried to regain its centrality in Asia. It is also a story, pure and simple, of heroic resistance against massive odds

    Economist
  • Mitter deftly sketches the plight of Chinese intellectuals ... This is a many-stranded story and the author keeps his focus on the big picture while including many convincing, often horrific, details ... [this] is the best narrative of that long-ago war, whose effects still linger in China today, with Japan the major hate figure

    Jonathan Mirsky, Spectator
  • This is a story told mainly from the Chinese perspective, in all its horror. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Mitter pulls together a rich and complex narrative without losing the drama of China's fight for survival and the individuals who played a part in it ... lively [and] comprehensive

    Prospect

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