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Mao's Military Romanticism: China and the Korean War, 1950-1953 (Modern War Studies) Hardcover


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Mao's Military Romanticism: China and the Korean War, 1950-1953 (Modern War Studies) + China's Road to the Korean War + Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War (Studies in Intl Security and Arm Control)
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Hardcover: 356 pages
  • Publisher: University Press Of Kansas; First Edition edition (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700607234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700607235
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,865,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Mao's Military Romanticism breaks both new conceptual and new empirical ground in analyzing China's decision to enter the war and its subsequent struggle to hold its own against the world's most powerful nation. This book should stand for some time as the standard comprehensive treatment of China in the Korean War."--William Stueck, author of The Korean War: An International History

"A splendid book with valuable observations about the contrasting ways in which Chinese and American forces fought. Zhang is an excellent storyteller, as well as a skilled interpreter of historical data."--Akira Iriye, author of Power and Culture: The Japanese-American War, 1941-1945

"This book provides the best account yet of how Mao fought his war with the Americans and their allies. It also offers provocative insights into Mao's thinking about strategy, tactics, and the human costs of warfare. Highly recommended."--John Lewis Gaddis, author of The Long Peace: Inquiries into the History of the Cold War

"Zhang's conceptual framework, 'military romanticism,' provides a new and useful angle for understanding Mao's decision-making. This is a great contribution to the history of the Korean War and to China studies."--Litai Xue, coauthor of Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War

"Offers fresh insights on Communist China's role in the Korean conflict."--D. Clayton James, coauthor of Refighting the Last War: Command and Crisis in Korea

About the Author

Shu Guang Zhang is associate professor of history at the University of Maryland and author of Deterrence and Strategic Culture: Chinese-American Confrontations, 1945-1958.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gadgester HALL OF FAME on April 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Along with Jian Chen 1994 book on what drew Communist China into the Korean conflict, Prof. Zhang's book provides valuable insights on how Mao and the PLA "volunteer" army conducts its warfare against the much better equipped U.S. military. Red China paid a very high price to defend the North Koreans, and Prof. Chen explores the root motivation for this "sacrifice." Prof. Zhang's book focuses on the how of the war, from the Chinese view point. Working with previously classified Chinese documents, the book details how Mao and his military commanders (led by Peng Te-huai, who was purged three years after the Armstice) differed on the strategies and tactics, with Mao coming across as an incompetent bureaucrat who placed zero value on the lives of his soldiers. While there are many mistakes in this book concerning the movements of the U.S. forces (likely because Prof. Zhang is quoting from Chinese military memos -- but it would have been nice if he caught them and corrected them), this book is a must-read for every American who has not forgotten the Forgotten War and the hundreds of thousands of U.S. casualties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christian Potholm on February 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A very useful look at the way the Chinese made war during this period and the extent to which Mao's often muddled and romantic notions ("men can beat weapons") cost the Chinese 390,000 casualties, including 148,000 dead. His refusal to understand American air power, logistical requirements and the rudiments of Clausewitzian strategy cost the Chinese dearly, even though the Korean War effort did vaunt Chinese power and prestige globally. Points out that the Chinese commitment of troops lasted until 1958. Especially good on the Chinese Third, Fourth and Fifth Phase offenses and how they came to naught following the "nothing fails like success" dictum as Mao was convinced the U.S. was going to evacuate the peninsula. Ultimately, Mao would commit 20 infantry armies (60 divisions) as well as 10 artillery, 4 tank and 10 air force divisions to his failed effort. There is an excellent order of battle at the end of this work. An important analysis of the Chinese efforts throughout the war.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By robert guertin on May 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Shu Guang Zhang provides an in depth perspective to the Chinese motivation for intervention in the Korean War, and a critical analysis of the strategy employed. Much can be learned of the battlefield strategy and political machinations of this most formitable foe, including the tactics of both the battlefield and the negotiation table.
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