"Victorious in Defeat: The Life and Times of Chiang Kai-shek, China, 1887-1975"

Event Details

End: March 27, 2023
Contact: rwheatley@historians.org

This event is part of the Washington History Seminar series. It is cosponsored by the AHA and the Woodrow Wilson Center and features author Alexander Pantsov and commentator Kelly Hammond. Register here

The negative portrayal of Chiang Kai-shek became a conventional theme in Western historiography. In 2009 Jay Taylor attempted to reverse this perspective, but in his zeal he went too far in trying to overturn almost all criticism previous scholars have levied against Chiang. The speaker Alexander V. Pantsov endeavored to write a balanced and unbiased biography of Chiang, the cunning ruler and the great revolutionary, based not only on Taiwanese, Chinese, and American collections but also on previously unknown Soviet archives.

Alexander V. Pantsov is a professor of history and holds the Edward and Mary Catharine Gerhold Chair in the Humanities at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He has published over 150 scholarly works including twenty books. Among them are The Bolsheviks and the Chinese Revolution 1919-1927 (Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press, 2000), Mao Zedong: The Real Story (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012), Deng Xiaoping: A Revolutionary Life (Oxford University Press, 2015), Karl Radek on China: Documents from the Former Secret Soviet Archives (Leiden: Brill, 2021), and The Kremlin’s Chinese Advance Guard: Chinese Students in Soviet Russia: 1917-1940 (London: Routledge, 2023).

Kelly Hammond is an Associate Professor of East Asian History at the University of Arkansas. Hammond specializes in modern Chinese and Japanese history, and her work focuses on Islam and politics in 20th-century East Asia. Her first book, China’s Muslims and Japan’s Empire: Centering Islam in World War II was published in 2020 with the University of North Carolina Press in their “Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks” series. Her work has been supported by the Stanton Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS China Studies postdoctoral fellowship, the Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan, the American Philosophical Association, the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation.