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The Chinese Civil War 1945-49 (Essential Histories) Paperback – May 25, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Author Michael Lynch does a superlative job of telling the story of both sides... Superbly illustrated by rare period photographs as well as the work of artists of the time and some excellent maps, the full unfolding of events has been made much more clear. This is a superb book on the subject and one that I know you will enjoy. Highly recommended." - Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness

About the Author

Dr Michael Lynch is currently Honorary Senior Lecturer and Tutor in the School of Historical Studies at the University of Leicester. His specialist areas of interest include modern European and Asian history. He is currently the editor for the Access to History series for Hodder Murray. His previous publications include China: From Empire to People's Republic 1900-1949 (Hodder & Stoughton, 1996), Mao Zedong (Routledge, 2004) and The People's Republic of China 1949-76, 2nd Edition (Hodder and Stoughton, 2008).
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Product Details

  • Series: Essential Histories (Book 61)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841766712
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841766713
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #919,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on August 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Professor Michael Lynch presents a concise overview of the main period of the Chinese Civil War in Osprey's Essential Histories volume no. 61. This volume serves as an introduction to this complex conflict and is likely to be useful for readers looking for a concise history. However, the author focuses primarily on the period 1945-49 and provides only a few pages of background material on a conflict which most sources cite as beginning in 1927 and which actively continued into 1950. The Communist invasion of Hainan Island during March-May 1950 - which involved over 100,000 troops on both sides - is not even mentioned. Even the 2-page chronology has no reference before 1945 or after 1949. Thus, readers unfamiliar with this conflict are likely to have difficulty putting events into context or understanding why the PRC and Taiwan are still at odds. The author's overview of the Civil War covers the main phase of the conflict in sufficient detail for readers to understand why the Communists prevailed (answering the why part of the equation), but without sufficient military detail for readers to understand the `how' part of the equation. While the author does mention some military assistance from the Soviet Union and impressed Japanese POWs, it is still difficult to see how the PLA transitioned so quickly from a guerrilla force into a regular army with heavy weapons. Battles and campaigns are addressed in such general terms, with little sense of numbers involved, casualties or tactics employed, that they have little meaning beyond `lots of Chinese fighting, Nationalists losing.' Overall, this volume is a useful synopsis, but somewhat marred by an overly-restricted timescale and lack of military detail.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nick on July 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book provides a good overview of the Chinese Civil War in the years after World War II. The coverage of the political background to the war is particularly strong and the discussion of the roles of the US and USSR is even handed and thoughtful. The discussion of the brutal conditions endured by soldiers on both sides was also enlightening, though the sections on civilians felt under-developed. While the descriptions of the war's main campaigns were clear and well illustrated with maps and photos, I was disappointed by the lack of detail on the fighting - this appears to have been a victim of the relatively short length of this series of books. All up, this book succeeds in providing a summary of the war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D and K on August 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While it could use more background on the earlier stages of the Chinese Civil War, excellent summary of the latter stages.
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By Michael Lapelosa on April 25, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is a great addition to the Ospery series. It is a fascinating story about a very important event in post war history that is not well known or understood. The author covers all the essential aspects of this enormous struggle. The prose is crisp and straightforward. The text is augmented with great maps.
The story of the Communist takeover of China is told here with balance and insight. The author compares and contrasts the two essential personalities involved in the war, Mao and Chiang with thought provoking prose that really helps the reader gain insight into this monumental, yet little known struggle. An excellent book.
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